After investigators talked about fatal accidents, CP threatened to file a lawsuit against safety regulators
According to CBC News, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company threatened to sue him and his boss to advise the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to investigate potential criminal negligence on the railway, resulting in the removal of the chief safety investigator for the fatal derailment in the mountains of British Columbia.
Don Crawford, a senior investigator of the Transportation Safety Board (TSB), said he began to suspect that CP’s major safety failure caused Train 301 out of control accident on February 4, 2019, Resulting in the death of three crew members-Dylan Paradis, Andrew Dockrell and Daniel Waldenberg-Bulmer.
According to his findings, he went to his boss at the end of 2019 and asked to call the RCMP for investigation.
When the supervisor refused to call the police, Crawford Listed, Told CBC News in early 2020: “It is enough to suspect that there is negligence here, and it needs to be investigated by the relevant authorities.”
According to reports, CP’s lawyers immediately started calling and emailing TSB, and issued a formal warning of possible legal action the next morning. Internal documents Obtained by CBC News with access to information.
TSB seems to be “bully and intimidated”: Author
In response, TSB removed Crawford from the case, issued a statement to distance himself from investigators, and then privately apologized to the railway department.
“It looks like they were bullied and intimidated by CP,” said author Bruce Campbell, who reviewed 168 pages of emails and letters. He wrote extensively about TSB in his book, Lac-Mégantic railway disaster: public betrayal, justice denied.
“They fall down like a ton of bricks,” he said. “It reveals once again how broken this system is and how it needs to be reorganized.”
Although TSB stated that it acted independently of CP’s threats, the case prompted calls for whistleblower protection for TSB investigators and required Canada’s lead agency responsible for investigating all major railway, air, and maritime safety disasters to have stronger powers.
CP demanded withdrawal and threatened to go to court
Within minutes of CBC’s release Its story At 5:50 pm Eastern Time on January 27, 2020, the TSB accident investigation leader stated that he believed that RCMP should intervene. CP’s lawyers began to call TSB and send more than ten increasingly demanding emails to TSB .
CP’s chief legal counsel, Jeff Ellis, wrote: “We need to withdraw it before it spreads widely and damages our company’s reputation.”
“Working hard,” Patrizia Huot, TSB’s general counsel, replied. “We will make a statement in less than an hour.”
E-mails crisscrossed into the night. At 9:10 p.m. Eastern Time, TSB issued a statement stating that the agency “disagrees with the chief security investigator’s view” and made it clear that “TSB will not pursue accountability or determine civil or criminal liability.”
CP is not satisfied.
The next morning, CP’s external legal counsel sent a message “Notice of Defamation Statement“Sent via email to CBC and TSB. In the letter to TSB, CP claimed that the chief accident investigator had “pre-judged” the case and stated that TSB officials needed to “control” their employees.
“If TSB and Mr. Crawford do not immediately retract Mr. Crawford’s statement, CP Rail will have no choice but to sue TSB,” CP’s lawyer wrote, his name has been deleted.
“Please confirm that Mr. Crawford will be removed from this investigation.”
TSB “I’m very sorry”
By the afternoon, TSB had withdrawn Crawford from the case, and its chairman Kathy Fox (Kathy Fox) apologized in an email to a CP official whose name has been deleted in the file .
“I am very sorry for the outrage caused by our (former) chief investigator’s statement on the site investigation documents. This is not how we conduct business,” Fox wrote.
CP did not sue the safety regulator or CBC.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Recently asked CP and TSB about the dispute.
CP declined to answer any questions on the grounds that it is investigating the crash.
TSB published a Lengthy statement This means that emails from CP are “not uncommon” and reject any suggestion that security agencies succumb to pressure.
“After the article was published, TSB acted quickly and issued a statement to avoid any accusation of bias against the chief investigator or TSB, which may compromise the integrity of the ongoing investigation.”
Ian Naish, former director of TSB railway investigations, said he was not surprised that TSB withdrew Crawford from the file.
He said: “It is not a good habit to say this to the media because it may affect the investigation.”
But Naish said he was surprised that TSB hadn’t noticed Crawford’s request to call the RCMP.
“I want to know why the board does not want to pursue it. I mean, if he has evidence, he has evidence.”
CP considers this to be “untouchable”: family lawyer
TSB stated that its responsibility is to prohibit it from calling the police. It said that doing so may be biased, or it may be seen as implying criminal conduct, which is beyond its scope of responsibility.
The families of the three men killed in the crash in British Columbia were very angry and stated that they believed that TSB had failed to conduct a full investigation of the crash and had succumbed to pressure from the industry.
“CP Rail told TSB to jump. Instead of simply asking,’How high?’ TSB did three somersaults and apologized for not doing it fast enough,” Tavengwa, a lawyer representing two families in the negligence lawsuit against CP Runyowa said.
Family members too Petition to parliament It is clearly stated that TSB should report to the police when it suspects negligence, and to ensure that TSB investigators are provided with stronger whistleblower protection.
“CP Rail can blatantly threaten regulators to prevent criminal investigations into CP Rail’s three deaths, which is shocking,” Runyowa said. “This shows that CP Rail considers it inaccessible.”
He said that nothing in TSB’s duties prohibits the agency from picking up the phone to contact the police.
In December last year, after a series of CBC news reports and complaints from Pam Fraser (his son Dylan Paradis was killed in the crash), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police launched a major criminal investigation into the derailment and CP’s subsequent actions.
The police investigation is ongoing.
The results of TSB’s safety investigation in the crash are expected to be announced later this year.