Appeal court upholds conviction in death of worker at Stampede party
CALGARY — The Alberta Court of Appeal has rejected a bid by a Calgary company to overturn a conviction in the death of a worker during a Stampede party in 2007.
XI Technologies was having a client appreciation party and rented a mechanical calf roping machine.
Nathan Shair, a 22-year-old university student who was working as a summer intern for the company, was struck in the head by a spring-loaded lever from the machine and died later in hospital.
The company was acquitted of health and safety charges by a provincial court judge.
The Crown appealed and a Queen’s Bench judge overturned the decision and convicted the company, finding that the accident was foreseeable.
XI Technologies then went to the Alberta Court of Appeal but a three-member panel dismissed the appeal, saying the company did not do all that was reasonably practicable in the circumstances to avoid the reasonably foreseeable risks.
The Appeal Court also said the operating procedures had not eliminated the significant risks involved with the ride.
“That XI Technologies would even consider operating a machine that no one had any familiarity with and without either its own operator or a proper set of written instructions in itself speaks volumes as to the lack of its due diligence in this matter,” the Appeal Court said in its judgement.
“This is particularly so given that the machine was going to be used by party goers who would be consuming alcohol.