Trial date set for lawsuit over firefighter gear in Abbotsford

City has sued suppliers, saying breathing devices failed 

The City of Abbotsford bought dozens of self-contained breathing apparatuses in 2014

A trial date next fall has been set for a judge to hear the City of Abbotsford’s lawsuit against the supplier and manufacturer of breathing units it bought for its firefighters.

In April, the city sued Avon Protection Systems and Northwest Safework Solutions, alleging that 83 self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units it bought were “dangerous products” that repeatedly failed. In response to the suit, Avon, the manufacturer of the units, and Northwest filed court statements alleging that the city failed to adequately train its firefighters.

The city spent $471,487 on the SCBA units, which are supposed to allow firefighters to breathe while working on fires and in other dangerous environments. The city is seeking its money back and damages.

In the lawsuit, the city says that as it attempted to put the units into service, it found the O-ring in the units “was prone to failure, which would cause the air supply contained in the Avon Units to leak, and to be depleted within a time of less than one minute.”

The notice of claim says the city notified the companies about the defects, but the problems weren’t fixed. The city says the products thus proved to be “dangerous products in their ordinary and intended use in firefighting operations.”

In their claim filed in court, the companies said the devices weren’t defective, and said a lack of training was to blame. They said firefighters failed “to exercise the care required to best ensure proper connection with the air cylinder.”

The companies want the suit dismissed and to be compensated for court costs.

The companies allege that while they tried to work to resolve the complaints, “The city did not co-operate with the defendants’ recommendations and advice but instead incurred the cost of purchasing other units from another supplier.”

None of the allegations has been proved in court.

A trial date has now been set for the case, with a judge set to hear testimony and evidence over five days, beginning Sept. 25, 2017, at B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.Trial date set for lawsuit over firefighter gear

Just Posted

Abbotsford mayor not sure why he was endorsed by anti-SOGI group

Henry Braun notes he has taken heat for raising Pride Flag, says inclusion is important

Grammy Award-winning Little Big Town to perform in Abbotsford

Country Music Hall of Fame inductees bring their tour to Abbotsford Centre

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

TRAFFIC: Delays on Highway 1 eastbound

Accident involving dump truck and logging truck slowing traffic

Candidates skew older than population, few women running

Those running are older than Abbotsford’s average age, but reflect immigrant-rich city

VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: 2018 West Coast Women’s Show

Highlights from the 18th annual event at Tradex in Abbotsford

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

B.C. man who abducted and assaulted 11-year-old girl has parole rules tightened

Brian Abrosimo made ‘inappropriate and sexualized’ comments to female staff

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

Most Read