The family of Kyle Hickey didn’t talk to the media afterwards, but it was obvious by their tears they were disappointed in the sentencing of O’Regan’s Chevrolet Cadillac Ltd. yesterday morning.
Hickey, 22, was working at O’Regan’s Kia in Dartmouth when an explosion ripped through the body shop on March 13, 2008. He died the next day in hospital.
O’Regan’s pleaded guilty to a charge under the Occupational Health and Safety Act in September and yesterday the corporation was handed a $38,750 penalty.
Judge Pam Williams said fire investigators determined the ignition point of the explosion — a gun wash barrel — but the cause of the fire was indiscernible.
Therefore, O’Regan’s was only held responsible for the fact that Hickey lacked safety training and equipment and chemicals were not labelled correctly. The prosecution was hoping for a fine of $150,000, where the maximum is $250,000.
The defence was looking for a $25,000 fine with another $5,000 for community service or public education.
They were given a $25,000 fine with a victim surcharge of $3,750. They will also have to donate $5,000 to the Threads of Life charity, and spend $5,000 for a workplace safety presentation at the Auto Dealers Association conference.
Williams pointed out that O’Regan’s overhauled their training program and put up a memorial bench for Hickey.
“It’s disappointing in ways,” said Jim Clarke, the Crown attorney. “We were asking for a higher global fine than however the judge has rendered a reasoned decision.”