Court increases fine for rubbish truck death
11 August 2008
The Hamilton High Court has increased the fine imposed on rubbish collection company Street Smart Limited over the death of a 13-year old boy.
The court fined Street Smart Limited $87,500, in addition to reparation of $60,000 already ordered, over the death of the boy, who was the son of one of its employees, and who was run over and killed by one of the company’s rubbish trucks.
Previously the District Court had ordered Street Smart to pay a fine of $55,000 and reparation of $60,000. But the Department of Labour appealed the fine on the basis that it was manifestly inadequate.
The High Court found that Street Smart knew the truck was a hazard to runners working on the truck and that, contrary to its directives, its employee was permitting his son to ride in the truck and act as a runner.
The High Court found that the Department’s submitted starting point for a fine of $175,000 in the District Court “could not be criticized” for being too high, and that it fitted with the level of seriousness of the offending.
It found that in fixing the original fine the District Court had given Street Smart too much credit for reparation paid, in light of the fact that the reparation had been paid by an insurer, rather than by Street Smart. Accordingly the fine was increased by $32,500.
For further information contact Frances Martin on 04 915 4090 or 0274 422141.
To the journalist: Please note that health and safety services, formerly referred to as Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) should now be referred to as the Department of Labour.