On the 24th of April, 2013, the Rana Plaza factory collapsed. The factory, which was located in Bangladesh, was manned by thousands of workers. A minimum of 1,120 died in the incident, and more than 2,510 other workers suffered serious injuries. In many cases, these injuries were permanent, sometimes resulting is disabilities.
After it happened, a class action lawsuit was started for these workers and their families. It targets Loblaws Inc, Loblaws Companies Limited and Joe Fresh Apparel Canada Inc. The factory was creating garments that were purchased by these companies. The total value of the lawsuit is a staggering $2 billion.
When starting the lawsuit, experts noted that the factory was incredibly unsafe, suggesting that the workers should never have been there in the first place. Companies do have a liability to create safe working conditions and to prevent accidents, especially accidents of this magnitude. The lawsuit accuses the companies of being negligent in this regard.
This is something of a ground-breaking case, though, as the companies in question are located in Ontario, not Bangladesh. They had simply contracted the work out to the factory. The lawsuit says that they still needed to provide safe working conditions, as they’d have to do with a factory in Ontario, even though the factory was overseas. If courts rule in favor of this, it could set a precedent that Canadian companies will have to be mindful of for years to come.
Those who lost loved ones or suffered serious injuries in workplace accidents always need to know what rights they have to seek compensation, potentially by using class action lawsuits that can cover many workers.
Source: Rochon Genova, “Rana Plaza,” accessed April 15, 2016