Contractor found guilty of manslaughter in death of employee

An excavation contractor was found guilty Thursday of manslaughter of one of his employees, who was buried in a trench in 2012.

Sylvain Fournier was charged with manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death for failing to secure a job site.

Judge Pierre Dupras of the Court of Quebec concluded in his ruling on Thursday that the Crown fulfilled its burden on both counts, but under the rule that prohibits multiple convictions, he pronounced a conditional stay of proceedings on the charge of criminal negligence.

The incident occurred in April 2012, when contractor Sylvain Fournier was with some of his employees of Excavations S. Fournier at a job site in Lachine to replace a sewer line.

During the work, a trench they had dug collapsed on Gilles Lévesque, completely burying him. Fournier himself was trapped up to his waist after attempting to rescue his employee. It took four hours to pulled him out, and he broke both his legs.

Levesque, 53, was dragged below the debris and was trapped under a 500 kilogram slab of concrete.

He died of a craniocerebral trauma.