June 15, 2015
As reported in the Calgary Sun, a gas station attendant who attempted to prevent a customer from driving off without paying for their fuel has succumbed to her injuries and died after she was run over and dragged beneath the drive-off's truck.
There is no question that the driver and other occupant of the truck, who are believed to have stolen the vehicle, are criminally guilty when it comes to the Calgary station attendant's death; this is not just a case of a fatal accident, but potentially of murder or manslaughter.
This incident has come with renewed calls for a law requiring late-night gas stations and convenience stores to provide better security for their employees, and this raises serious legal questions about the legal and ethical responsibilities Calgary business owners have.
Many in Calgary and throughout the province believe employers should be held to a higher duty of care when it comes to preventing injuries to their employees.
With legislation in place, there would be grounds for potential criminal penalties and fines when businesses failed to live up to their duty, and far more substantial foundations for civil suits arising from personal injuries sustained when employers did not have proper precautions in place.
Other Calgary legal experts and businesses claim that the existing laws are enough, and that employees should be considered responsible for acting in a way that maximizes their own safety.
One lesson everyone can agree on: risking injury and even death to prevent a theft isn't worthwhile. Don't put yourself in harm's way, Calgary—stay safe first, and we'll wrangle with the legal questions under less tragic circumstances.
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