Fire at the Roberval courthouse: two companies sued for $12 million

Fire at the Roberval courthouse: two companies sued for $12 million
Fire at the Roberval courthouse: two companies sued for $12 million

Nearly three years after the violent fire that heavily damaged the Roberval courthouse, the Société québécoise des infrastructures (SQI) is now demanding more than $12 million from two companies.

Targeted in an initiating application, Pomerleau and Philippe Trépanier inc. are considered responsible for the incident by the SQI, which is now claiming $12,333,441.

The millions spent on modernizing the Roberval courthouse went up in smoke on May 8, 2021 when a major blaze broke out which could only be brought under control after four hours. Pomerleau then coordinated the site in addition to having responsibility for the execution of all the work.

Work on cutting reinforcing steel rods had also been carried out by workers from Trépanier. in the morning, before around ten trucks and around forty firefighters from Roberval and all neighboring municipalities must intervene in the evening.

There was also the presence of a large quantity of combustible materials at the location where the fire broke out, according to what was mentioned in the application instituting proceedings filed at the Quebec courthouse.

Negligence in question according to the SQI

In it, the SQI, owner of the Roberval courthouse, accuses Pomerleau of having, among other things, failed to “apply and/or respect the rules and safety standards for hot cutting during the Trépanier work”.

“Pomerleau had to ensure risk management and that the work carried out by the contractors was carried out according to the rules of the art,” it is mentioned.

The SQI also accuses Trépanier of not having taken the necessary safety measures in addition to having poorly assessed the fire risks that the work could cause.

“Trépanier did not monitor his work for a sufficient period to ensure that no fire was smoldering,” we can read in the legal document which also specifies that the workers would have left the construction site around 11 a.m. on the morning of the fire.

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