Media release: Council of Trade Unions
Court of Appeal decision on Pike, endorses cheque book justice
The Court of Appeal has released its judgment this afternoon in the case taken by Pike widow Anna Osborne, wife of Milton Osborne, and Sonya Rockhouse, mother of Ben against the government agency Worksafe.
“The Court of Appeal agreed that it could re-examine the legality of the decision WorkSafe made to trade charges against Pike River Mine CEO Peter Whittall, for insurance money,” Wagstaff said. But the Court’s ruling “allows a deal to be struck. WorkSafe allowed an unrepentant defendant, to get his insurer to make a payment to the victims, in return for WorkSafe dropping the charge,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.
“There were several parts of the decision we were appealing. It is our view that the decision to drop the charges was the wrong one both in regards justice for the 29 men killed at Pike, and also that the decision was not in the public’s interest. The victims, the families, have been left out in the cold. The Court of Appeal did not think the victims ought to have been consulted before the deal was struck. ”
“We now need to consider what options remain. One thing is for sure the 29 men that were killed on the 19th November 2010 are still no closer to justice,” Wagstaff said.