Family of First Nations man killed at hydro site sues construction companies, Manitoba Hydro

The mother of Todd Maytwayashing , a First Nations man who died while working at a northern Manitoba hydro construction site has filed a civil suit against two Alberta-based companies and a Manitoba Crown corporation.

Mary Maytwayashing filed a statement of claim on Jan. 15 seeking $200,000 for compensation, complete investigation reports from the companies involved and a written apology.

Forbes Bros. Ltd, Manitoba Hydro and GST Logistics are named in the suit.

Todd Maytwayashing, 22, died in January 2018 after he was struck in the head by a bundle of steel he was helping load onto a semi-truck with another employee while working in a marshaling yard for the construction of a Manitoba Hydro transmission line.

Forbes Bros. was hired to construct a power transmission line from the Keeyask Generating Station to the Radisson Converter Station. GST Logistics owned and operated the semi-truck and trailers on site, according to the statement of claim.

In the suit, Maytwayashing says the death of her son has left a large financial impact on herself after she lost a full-time job.

“The loss in income represents the impact as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder…it is expected that the impact many persist, even if to a lesser extent,” the suit alleges.

Todd’s partner and father were also included in dealing with the financial impacts as well.

The suit says Todd’s partner received money from worker’s compensation with the understanding the Workplace Safety and Health Act prevents a worker, it’s legal representative or the worker’s dependants from bringing forward a civil suit.

The plaintiff says this doesn’t prevent her from filing a civil suit.

The family has been vocal in their search for answers, particularly with receiving a copy of the workplace investigation that was submitted to the province’s Workplace Safety and Health Committee.

APTN News previously requested a copy of the report but was denied because it was part of a non-criminal investigation.

Forbes Bros. was initially facing seven charges under the Workplace Safety and Health Act.

However, six of those charged were stayed last month after the company pleaded guilty to one count of failing to develop a safe work procedure for securing a load on trucks and were ordered to pay a $150,000 fine.

Court was told at the time it’s equal to the highest fine ever levied in the province.

Read More: 

Alberta company fined $150K in death of First Nations man

Forbes Bros. has said it’s since updated its employee safety training program to include more information about properly securing materials, and it’s also implemented this training.

Maytwayashing has requested “written documentary evidence” showing the changed procedures.

The family has continued to speak out about their son’s workplace fatality to ensure future workers can get home safely.

The plaintiff believes that, “even though it may not be traditional with respect to a worker’s death to seek non-monetary compensation…the requests are essential if real and meaningful reconciliation is to be achieved in the relation to the death of Todd Maytwayashing.”

Forbes Bros. and Manitoba Hydro have both declined to comment citing it’s before the courts.

In its statement of defence, Forbes Bros. claims, “it acted reasonably and appropriately, with due regard for the safety of its employees including the deceased, and nothing done or omitted by it caused or contributed his death.”

Manitoba Hydro denied any “liability or responsibility” for Todd’s death, according to its own statement of defence.

GST Logistics did not respond to APTN’s request for comment.

In their statement of claim they say Forbes Bros. is at fault for, “failing to properly secure the load, in failing to take reasonable steps that the load was secure and in failing to properly train, educate and supervise the deceased.”

With files from Kathleen Martens

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