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Decision expected Friday on whether city at fault for 2015 pedestrian death

City pleading not guilty to seven charges under Occupational Health and Safety Act
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In a 2015 file photo, Leo Denomme adds his name to a book of condolences for Cecile Paquette, the 58-year-old woman killed on Elgin Street on Sept. 30, 2015 while she was trying to cross the street. (Arron Pickard/Sudbury.com)

Judge Karen Lische is expected to deliver her verdict on Aug. 31, in the trial related to the Sept. 30, 2015 death of Cecile Paquette, who was killed while crossing the intersection of Elgin Street and Beech Street.

The city of Greater Sudubry pleaded not guilty on March 28 to seven charges laid under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, including not providing signallers for the grader operator, not erecting a 1.8-metre "sturdy fence" to separate the public from the construction site and not ensuring that its contractor, Interpaving, was following those three sections of the Health and Safety Act.

During the course of the trial, Lische heard from representatives from both the city and Interpaving on matters including whose responsibility it was to arrange police presence at the job site and who had the final say on the job site, Interpaving or city staff.

The fifth and final day of the trial brought with it testimony from city field inspector John Temelini, who described the job site as "chaos".

Most of the questioning from both Crown prosecutor David McCaskill and defense attorneys Frank Portman and Ryan Conlin centred on determining who was the "constructor" on the job site, as under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the constructor is the overall authority for health and safety matters on the project.

The city's defense is that Interpaving was the constructor on the site, and thus responsible for the safety of workers and pedestrians; while the prosecution argued that under the city's general conditions, they ultimately have the authority to override and assume control of a job site if they deem the work unsatisfactory.

A decision in this trial is expected to be delivered on Aug. 31 at the Sudbury Courthouse on Elm Street at 10 a.m.

Sudbury.com will bring you coverage from the decision, so be sure to check back with us.



Matt Durnan

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