(Ottawa) The City of Trois-Rivières has exhausted all its remedies to avoid paying thousands of dollars in compensation following the deployment of an insufficient number of firefighters in the first minutes of fighting a fire that ravaged a building .
The Supreme Court of Canada announced Thursday that it will not hear the City’s appeal.
The charges date back to June 2012, when a fire completely destroyed a building that belonged to Déneigement F. L. inc. The City was unable to meet its standard of dispatching ten firefighters to the scene within the first ten minutes. Only six people were able to make it in that time.
The City argued that it should benefit from an immunity provided for in the Fire Safety Act, which stipulates that liability should only be assumed in the event that “the damage [is] due to its intentional fault or its fault heavy”.
The argument was accepted neither by the Superior Court of Quebec nor by the Court of Appeal. The City was ordered to pay compensation covering 25% of the damages suffered by several plaintiffs involved in this case. The latter initially claimed a little more than a million dollars.
According to an agreement reached between the parties in 2021, the total damages were instead assessed at $582,399.92, which means that the City will pay $145,599.98.
On Thursday, the highest court in the country let it be known that it would not hear the case, the judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal therefore being upheld. The Supreme Court of Canada never publishes the reasons why it decides whether or not to consider a case.
The City of Trois-Rivières said it took note of Thursday’s decision and said it would fulfill its obligations as soon as possible.