Families file lawsuits for Gabriola Island construction accident deaths

Families file lawsuits for Gabriola Island construction accident deaths
Chris Straw (left) and Marc Doré (right) died in a construction accident on March 16th, 2021. (Photos courtesy of Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman LLP)

The families of Christopher Straw and Marc Doré have filed lawsuits against the companies who rented, repaired, inspected and sold the construction equipment that broke allegedly resulting in their deaths.

Straw and Doré were former CBC employees, who had started a home construction business.

According to a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, the men were pouring foundation footings at Straw’s home when the accident resulting in their death occurred.

Straw’s wife, Margy Gilmour, was watching the construction at the time of the accident, and is one of the plaintiffs.

Huguette Grenier‐Doré, who was assisting with the construction but was not killed in the accident, is the other plaintiff.

“With our hearts and dreams shattered, we are launching these claims to ensure that those responsible are held accountable for the senseless deaths of two precious family men and valued community members,” a statement from the families’ lawyers reads. “They were the kind of men you hope boys will grow up to be. And they had a lot of living yet to do.”

The lawsuit states that the two were standing near an extended boom, Straw was operating a concrete vibrator to ensure there were no bubbles in the freshly poured concrete, Doré following behind with a trowel smoothing the top of the concrete.

The two had been working for approximately 10 minutes when the extended boom’s turning column snapped from its base near a recent weld repair, causing the entire boom to suddenly crash to the ground, striking and killing Straw and Doré.

READ MORE: ‘They’ll be sadly missed’: Friends identify victims in Gabriola Island construction site accident

The turning column the men had been using had recently been in another accident, and it was repaired by Alliance Concrete Pumps, who is one of the four defendants.

The lawsuit alleges Alliance performed the repairs with insufficient knowledge of the accident that caused the damage, without properly inspecting the extent of the damage, and failing to gather information from the manufacturer on the proper method to repair, among other allegations.

The company who rented out the equipment, Bedrock Redi-Mix, is also a defendant, and the lawsuit alleges the company failed to properly document the prior incident, did not properly advise Alliance on the damage, and chose to repair rather than replace the damaged turning column.

Tripac Engineering, a third defendant, is the company which inspected and certified the weld repair. The lawsuit alleges the company undertook the inspection without prior knowledge of the incident, failed to perform all reasonable inspections, and failed to determine if the turning column was a critical safety component that should have been replaced rather than repaired.

The final defendant is JunJin Heavy Industry Co., which is the company that sold the equipment. The lawsuit says the company is liable for any defects in the Concrete Truck, including defects introduced by suppliers.

Relief sought include general damages, damages for family, and ongoing health care costs.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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