R v. Fournier, 2018

 On March 1, 2018, Judge Pierre Dupras of the Court of Québec, Criminal and Penal Division, found a company president guilty of manslaughter1 following the death of a worker.

Mr. Sylvain Fournier, President of S. Fournier Excavation Inc., employed Mr. Gilles Lévesque. Both men were engaged in replacing a sewer conduit, working at the bottom of a trench that was more than 8 feet deep

The trench caved in. Mr. Lévesque, the worker, was buried and died of a blunt traumatic brain injury.

The Crown, following this tragic accident, prosecuted Mr. Fournier on two counts: (1) criminal negligence causing death, by failing to take the necessary measures to prevent injuries to others while directing the performance or execution of work or a task; and (2) having caused Mr. Lévesque’s death by committing manslaughter.

This case is a first of its kind in Québec, in that natural or legal persons were ordinarily convicted of criminal negligence causing death or bodily injury, not manslaughter.

Sentencing - September 18, 2018

IMPOSES on the offender on Count 2, an 18-month incarceration;

ORDERS , pursuant to section 109 of the Criminal Code , that the offender shall be prohibited from possessing firearms, crossbows, restricted weapons, ammunition and explosive substances for a period of 10 years and prohibited firearms, restricted firearms, prohibited weapons, prohibited devices and prohibited ammunition for life;

AUTHORIZES, for the purposes of the genetic analyzes considered necessary, the taking of bodily samples from the offender, in accordance with section 487.051 of the Criminal Code in respect of this count 2, which corresponds to the definition of "designated primary offense" ;

IN STATUS, pursuant to section 731 of the Criminal Code , a two - year probation order with follow - up, subject to the following conditions:

keep the peace and be of good behavior, respond to Tribunal summons, notify the Tribunal or the probation officer of changes of address or name, and promptly notify them of changes in employment or 'occupation; report to a probation officer within five days of being released from prison and, thereafter, according to the time and format determined by the probation officer;

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