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by Mike Caswell
Imperial Metals Corp. has quietly dropped the lawsuit that it filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against two engineering firms over a tailings spill at its Mount Polley mine in 2014. The company had claimed that the firms were negligent in the spill. For their part, the engineers had denied any wrongdoing.
The end of the lawsuit is contained in a consent order filed at the Vancouver courthouse on Dec. 17, 2018. The order simply states that the case is dismissed, with each side to pay its own legal fees. Lawyers for Imperial Metals and the other parties signed the order.
With the end of the lawsuit there will, of course, be no determination of which party was responsible for the widely publicized spill, at least in court. A professional organization, Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia, is planning disciplinary proceedings against three engineers who worked on the project. The regulatory body says that the three (Stephen Rice, Laura Fidel and Todd Martin) demonstrated "unprofessional conduct." That matter has yet to go to a hearing. There was also an independent review panel that released a report into the spill in 2015, but its findings were far from definitive. The report did not blame anybody in particular, determining that the failure was most likely a result of design problems.
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