Dr. Dawg

One law for the rich

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danger asbestos.jpg

Deliberately exposing dozens of workers, including youngsters, to deadly asbestos?

Throw the book at him. Sixty days in jail.

Suppose you are a diabolical doctor in an old black-and-white horror drama. You want to be a serial killer, but the law, unfortunately, prevents it. So, instead of firing up the old chainsaw, you implant mini-bombs in your patients, timed to go off thirty years or so later.

Some bombs will not. A few will. But the law says that, for a murder to have occurred, the victim must die within one year and a day of the assault that kills him or her.

Not guilty.

I’m not claiming that the employer in this case intended to kill his victims. But he showed reckless indifference to their fate. He knew what he was doing:

Arthur Moore was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court Tuesday for contempt after ignoring court orders that he halt all demolition work after failing several times to provide protection for his workers while they handled asbestos. [emphasis added]

Mesothelioma can take decades to show up, but it is uncontroversially linked to exposure to asbestos. It is a lousy, miserable way to die. Those workers are at long-term risk of contracting it.

But the judge didn’t care. It’s not as though Moore was an activist or something.

Lawyers from B.C.’s Workers Compensation Board had asked that Moore be sent to jail for six months to one year.

Not in Harper’s Canada, where virtual impunity rules for employers and police officers.

And where asbestos—but only when exported—is pronounced safe by the Ministry of Truth.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on January 24, 2012 6:46 PM.

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