The next court date is slated for today (March 11). (Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash)

Court makes a ruling on Kootenay highway acid spills

Justice Riley ruled to let 3 plaintiffs pursue separate claims instead of one joint action

The BC Supreme Court recently made a ruling regarding the 800+ vehicles written-off by three insurance companies after two acid spills occurred on the highway through Trail.

Read more: Court cases in Trail acid spills may take years

Read more: One year later, claims still trickling in

Instead of insurers proceeding as one joint claim against a list of 10 defendants including Teck Metals, International Raw Materials, the regional district and the City of Trail, the courts ruled that each of the parties, or plaintiffs, may now pursue separate claims.

The judgment was handed down in the Vancouver courthouse on Feb. 26 by Justice Riley.

“Many of the vehicles alleged to have been damaged after driving along the affected stretch of road were determined by the plaintiff insurances companies to be total losses,” the document reads.

“Although causation, liability, and the extent of vehicle damage are all live issues between the plaintiffs and various defendants. It is in this context that each of the plaintiff insurance companies seeks a ruling allowing it to proceed with a single action in its own name, in the place of or on behalf of all insured owners whose vehicles were allegedly damaged in the acid spills.”

The insurance companies argued this determination was necessary now, so that all issues pertaining to their capacity to bring these claims, including their ability to claim damages for, or in the place of individual vehicle owners insured by them, are resolved early on in the proceedings.

“This, as the plaintiffs say, will allow the litigation to be focused on the substantive issues of liability, causation, and damages associated with the spills,” the judge states.

Going forward, the ruling allows the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), Economical Mutual Company, and Intact Insurance Company to proceed with a single action in their own name, or on behalf of insured owners whose vehicles were allegedly damaged in the two acid spills.

The next BC Supreme Court date is scheduled for Wednesday, March 11.

The court lists the defendants as Teck Metals Ltd., Teck Resources Limited, International Raw Materials, Westcan Bulk Transport, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, the City of Trail, Her Majesty the Queen in right of the Province of British Columbia as represented by the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and two truck drivers.

The two reported acid spills occurred in the spring of 2018.

According to a joint statement from IRM and Teck, approximately 220 litres of sulphuric acid was spilled between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on April 10, and 70 litres the evening of May 23.

In both cases, the companies have reported that road contamination started at the Rossland Avenue intersection, which is the junction of Highway 3B and Highway 22.

The first spill is reported to have stretched 16-kilometres (km) through Trail and out to the train offload site in Waneta. The May spill is reported to have extended six km, ending near Glenmerry.



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City of TrailICBCKootenay Boundary Regional DistrictLocal News

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay couple escapes Spain – safe, sound, and in self-isolation

BC couple Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Interior Health to host virtual town hall Friday, March 27

The Q&A forum begins at 6 p.m. PDT, link in story

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

World COVID-19 update: U.S. expects 100,000 deaths; Oregon declares disaster

Comprehensive update of world news for Sunday, March 19.

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

‘There is community’: B.C. councillor welcomes new baby into world amid COVID-19 pandemic

‘I realize there’s much more than fear and worry… there is hope, there is new life’: Jason Lum

Most Read