TORONTO, July 7 /CNW/ - In a decision released yesterday, Mr. Justice Joseph Henderson of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice awarded residents of Port Colborne, Ontario $36 million in damages against Inco Ltd.
The case was tried in Welland for more than 4 months beginning in October 2009. In a 97 page decision, Justice Henderson found that nickel emissions released from Inco's plant in Port Colborne had negatively affected property values in the Port Colborne area after the extent of the emissions became well-known in February 2000.
The action was commenced in March 2001 and took more than 8 years to reach trial. Certification of the case as a class action was initially denied in 2002, but in November 2005, the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned that decision and certified the action. Leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada was denied in 2006.
"Our clients are very pleased with the decision," said Eric Gillespie, one of the plaintiff's trial counsel. "The people of Port Colborne have been through quite a bit. Everyone we've been in contact with is happy and relieved that compensation has been awarded to the community."
"This has been a long, hard battle," said Kirk Baert of Koskie Minsky LLP, another member of the plaintiff's legal team. "There were many challenges along the way, but we finally got there."
Justice Henderson has asked for further submissions on how to distribute the damages to the residents of Port Colborne.
SOURCE Koskie Minsky LLP
For further information: For further information: Eric Gillespie, 416-703-6362; Kirk Baert, 416-595-2117