Family of Brick employee who died after accident cries foul in court

'The power of the wealthy seems to rule the world,' workers mother states

Family of Brick employee who died after accident cries foul in court

About three and a half years after the incident, the family of a The Brick worker who died following an injury he sustained at the workplace is still questioning why the employer did not inform them immediately about what happened.

Martin David died two days after a fall that fractured his skull on the morning of June 9, 2020, at a Brick location in the Bayers Lake business park on the outskirts of Halifax in Nova Scotia.

A co-worker found David on the floor of an unlit washroom, with his head in his arms, a Halifax court heard, according to a CBC report. Because David was vomiting and not fully coherent, the co-worker thought he was sick. He didn’t realize David was injured, according to the report.

David was taken to hospital by an ambulance. However, it was not until 30 hours later the family received a phone call from a Halifax hospital and learned he was in intensive care.

"My God tells me I must forgive, because if I don't forgive then he can't forgive me," LaVerne David, the worker’s mother, said in a CBC report. "Somebody should have called one of us to let us know that Martin was in the hospital. That's the only thing we said from the beginning: 'Why wouldn't you call?'"

On top of that, when Martin David died, no one from The Brick attended his funeral or even sent a card, said Martin David Sr.

The CEO of the company did reach out to the family by phone, but it was three days after the incident, when it was already in the news, according to the report.

Also, it was Martin David Sr. who contacted the Department of Labour about his son’s fall incident at work. The employer did not tell the department about the incident, reported CBC.

"The power of the wealthy seems to rule the world,” the worker’s mother wrote in a victim impact statement presented to the court.

"I know that in this world our race is seen as inferior, the lives of our sons are treated as subhuman, and our families discounted, but today I pray for justice for Martin's sons and that no other family will ever have to endure what our family has been through," LaVerne David wrote.

The department then launched an investigation and laid charges.

In court, the Crown is seeking $215,625 in fines on The Brick. They also want the employer to be ordered to do four safety presentations. Meanwhile, the defence is hoping for a fine of about $20,000.

In September 2023, a judge found The Brick guilty of two occupational health and safety charges for failing to implement its policies around injury investigation and lighting, and one of failing to ensure the toilet facility was properly illuminated.

Following David’s fall in the workplace, The Brick reviewed its safety policies, Greg Nakonechny, the vice-president of legal at the company, said in the CBC report.

"I'm just very sorry that this has happened," he said.

"Our team probably could have done more, but did make attempts to try [to] reach out to the family.” 

The Brick’s sentencing is set for April 10.