Chinese Company Subject to Canadian Court’s Jurisdiction on OHS Charges

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Two workers were killed and two others were seriously injured when a structure being built to support a storage tank’s roof collapsed. As a result, three companies, including a China-based engineering company, were charged with OHS violations. At the first and second court dates, no one appeared for the engineering company. The government asked to proceed against the company “ex-parte.” An attorney for the company finally appeared, arguing that the company was never properly served with the charges. The court ruled that the government hadn’t properly served the charges on the company. But by having an attorney represent the company in a Canadian court and address matters related to the charges, it “attorned” or agreed to be subject to the court’s jurisdiction [R. v. Sinopec Shanghai Engineering Co., [2010] A.J. No. 435, March 31, 2010].