Ministry of Labour takes aim at city over snowplow death
LONDON, ONT. -- It has been two years since a train fatally struck 26-year-old London snowplow operator Malcolm Trudell.
Now the Ministry of Labour is trying to prove the City of London is responsible for the death, which occurred more than two years ago on Jan. 9, 2018.
This week, a trial began in Provincial Offences Court on Dundas Street.
Trudell was plowing snow at the intersection of York and Colborne streets when he was killed by a train at the level crossing.
Ministry of Labour lawyer Judy Chan called multiple witnesses to the stand on day two of the week-long trial.
Paul Barrett's company, WeeBee Contracting, was sub-contracted on the tender that J. Jackson Pools had with the city - he was also the man responsible for hiring Trudell to plow snow using a Bobcat machine.
He told the court, "He checked on Trudell at 4 a.m.- five hours before the crash," and says Trudell told him, "He'd be able to go until noon, and was wide awake."
Barrett added he "sent him on his way, and that was the last he heard from him."
Jason Jackson, the president of Jackson Pools, took the stand in the morning.
He was questioned multiple times on whether the city had provided any snowplow training documents, procedures or guidance on how to deal with railway crossings.
He emphatically answered "No" to all those questions.
The city faces charges of failing to take every precaution reasonable to protect a worker and failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker.
A not guilty plea was entered to those charges by the city on day one of the trial on Monday.
On day two, city lawyer John McNair said that Bobcat operating instructions given to Trudell by Barrett and Jackson was consistent with the rail-safety program Operation Lifesaver.
Both Jackson Pools and WeeBee Contracting have previously pleaded guilty to charges under the occupational health and safety act.
The trial will continue into next week and at that point Justice of the Peace Susan Hoffman will determine whether the city has any responsibility in Trudell's death.