Immunity to suit status

Criminal acts are not activities related to employment for the purposes of the Workers’ Compensation Act
|Canadian Employment Law Today

In 1992 the unionized employees of Giant Mine in Yellowknife were involved in an acrimonious dispute with the mine’s owner, Royal Oak Mines Inc. On May 23, 1992, Royal Oak locked out its unionized employees. At the same time the unionized employees went on strike. The mine continued to operate with the use of non-unionized employees supplied by Procon Miners Inc. as well as unionized employees who chose to cross the picket line and return to work.

On Sept. 18, 1992, a bomb blast occurred at Giant Mine resulting in the deaths of nine miners. Six of the deceased miners were employees of Royal Oak. Three of the deceased miners were employees of Procon. The dependants of the deceased miners claimed compensation under the Workers’ Compensation Act.

These claims were approved and paid by the Workers’ Compensation Board. An action was subsequently brought on behalf of the dependants of the nine deceased miners seeking damages against a number of Giant Mine’s unionized employees (referred to as Seeton et al.).