The Chronicle Herald (Metro)

Trial in workplace death set for May 2022


A former foreman with an Ontario company will stand trial in Nova Scotia Supreme Court next May on a charge of criminal negligence causing death in connection with a mishap at a Dartmouth constructi­on site three years ago.

Brandon Alcorn, 22, of Porters Lake died from head injuries after falling from the roof of the Kent Building Supplies store in Dartmouth Crossing on March 13, 2018.

Police announced in December 2019 that Jeff Gooch of Halifax, Alcorn's supervisor with Insulated Panel Structures Inc., had been charged with criminal negligence causing death.

Gooch, 39, was discharged in April following a preliminar­y inquiry in Dartmouth provincial court, but the Crown filed a direct indictment in June to resurrect the charge and send it to Supreme Court for trial.

Dates for the judge-alone trial were set Thursday, after defence lawyer Stan Macdonald entered a not-guilty plea by phone on behalf of Gooch.

The trial is set for five days beginning May 9, 2022, with Justice Scott Norton presiding.

Gooch and Insulated Panel Structures, based in Waterdown, Ont., also face regulatory charges under the province's Occupation­al Health and Safety Act. Those charges were laid by the Labour Department in January 2020.

The department alleges the company failed to ensure Alcorn had valid fall-protection training, failed to establish a written fall-protection plan, and failed to ensure fall-protection gear was used on the day of the fatality and three earlier dates.

Gooch faces four charges of failing to make sure an employee under his direction wore fall-protection gear while working at heights. It's also alleged he did not have up-todate training in fall protection and gave false informatio­n to a labour investigat­or two days after the mishap.

The safety charges against Gooch and the company are on hold in provincial court pending the outcome of the criminal case.

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