OWNER AC­QUIT­TED OF NEG­LI­GENCE IN AUTO SHOP DEATH

National Post (Latest Edition) - - CANADA -

A for­mer Hal­i­fax au­to­body shop owner has been ac­quit­ted of crim­i­nal neg­li­gence caus­ing the death of a me­chanic who was badly burned when a mini­van sud­denly caught fire as he was weld­ing be­neath it. The charge was the first in the prov­ince un­der Bill C-45 — also known as the Westray law — which was passed af­ter 26 min­ers were killed when meth­ane gas ig­nited in the Ply­mouth, N.S., mine. Peter Kemp­ton was work­ing un­der a 1998 Dodge Car­a­van at Your Me­chanic Auto Corner in Dart­mouth in Septem­ber 2013 when it be­came en­gulfed in flames. His boss, shop owner Elie Phillip Hoyeck, was ac­quit­ted Fri­day in Nova Sco­tia Supreme Court af­ter Jus­tice James Chip­man found Kemp­ton made a se­ries of choices that con­trib­uted to his own death. Chip­man said the garage had a myr­iad of safety is­sues, but none of them led to the poor choices of Kemp­ton, a trained me­chanic. The van was be­ing stripped be­fore be­ing scrapped, and Kemp­ton was us­ing an acety­lene torch to re­move the steel straps hold­ing the gas tank in place. It ig­nited, with Kemp­ton un­der­neath.

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