Wal-Mart Canada has been fined $120,000 in connection with the death of a teenaged employee last year in Grand Falls, N.B.
Patrick Desjardins, 17, was electrocuted while using a floor buffing and polishing machine on the wet floor of a garage at the Wal-Mart outlet in the northwestern New Brunswick community on Jan. 5, 2011.
Wal-Mart pleaded guilty Tuesday in Grand Falls provincial court to three charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, while supervisor Denis Morin pleaded guilty to two charges under the act.
Crown prosecutor Karen Lee Lamrock said Desjardins' death was neither deliberate nor intentional on the part of Wal-Mart or Morin. It was an accident, resulting from imprudence, not malice or corner-cutting, she said.
"We did not find they have put profit ahead of safety concerns in this case," Lamrock said.
Wal-Mart has taken several remedial steps, the court heard.
Still, the Crown asked the court to consider imposing a fine of $100,000 for Wal-Mart, plus a $20,000 victim fine surcharge.
The highest fine ever imposed in New Brunswick for a violation under the act was $30,000, the court heard. But the legislation was changed in 2008, increasing the maximum fine per count to $250,000.