Company files suit over dumped crab

Kevin Curley
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Golden Shell Fisheries has filed a civil suit against one of the fishermen who was allegedly involved in the dumping of crab at the company's premises during a protest on April 15.

However, before the court process can begin on that matter, the Supreme Court must decide whether the fisherman can be represented by the lawyer for the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union.

Jim Hughes is the lawyer who represents Golden Shell Fisheries of Hickman's Harbour.

Initially, the company filed a suit against the FFAW. However, the union claimed it did not organize the protest, and that it was an action taken by a group of fishermen.

Therefore, Hughes said, individuals must be held accountable. Hughes said eventually they will combine the two suits.

During the protest in April the RCMP was on scene and videotaped and photographed activities throughout the day.

"There's camera footage of a lot it and photos of a lot it. We have eight or nine people that we are going to name as individuals responsible," said Hughes.

John Dean of Little Heart's Ease was the first individual to be named.

In the statement of claim filed Aug. 14, Golden Shell Fisheries alleges that Dean "did enter the property without legal justification and ... take, without permission and/or the right, crab stored and awaiting processing and ... dump the crab over the wharf."

Golden Shell is seeking damages in the amount of $94,751.29.

"That number reflects the cost of cleanup, the cost of loss of crab and lost wages," said Hughes, adding, "It's a more established loss. We were able to do that over time, of course. We knew the exact number of crab; we know how many hours it was going to take to do it. We knew what our ice was going to cost, we knew what it cost to ship and we certainly knew what it cost for someone to come clean it up."

Before the Supreme Court tackles that matter, however, it has been asked to rule on whether the FFAW's lawyer would be in a conflict of interest to represent Dean.

Hughes wants to get the conflict issue taken care of first, before he adds more individuals to the suit.

"If the judge rules there is no conflict between the individuals and the FFAW, then we will continue on against them all. If he says there is a conflict, then at least we stopped it in the bud. It's a problem avoidance scenario."

Hughes told TC Media he hopes the court will rule on the conflict of interest issue within the next three weeks.

Meanwhile, the RCMP investigation into the protest is ongoing.

The Packet

Organizations: Supreme Court, RCMP, Allied Workers

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