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Kruger Corner Brook Newsprint Mill Wins Stay in Case

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According to a report Tuesday (June 21) by The Telegram (St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada), Justice David Hurley has ruled that Corner Brook Pulp and Paper can make an application regarding jurisdiction over a lawsuit regarding alleged seepage from the Deer Lake Canal.

The Corner Brook mill, along with its parent company—Kruger Inc., as well as Deer Lake Power—the hydroelectric station that generates electricity for the mill, are among the collective defendants in an attempted class-action lawsuit launched by a group of Deer Lake residents.

The residents claim their properties have been flooded by water seeping from the canal (contested damage photo below). Interestingly, the lawsuit also names the Town of Deer Lake and the provincial government as being liable for the homeowners’ problems.

In March, the paper company argued that a hearing should be held to hear an application outlining reasons why the mill should be removed from the class-action lawsuit. The company’s argument is that the claims against it are limited to an arbitration process that has to be followed before any class-action lawsuit can be certified. The company’s stance is that the arbitration process could eliminate the need for the company to proceed as a defendant in any certified class action.

The plaintiffs maintained a strong disapproval.

Hurley decided on the arguments late last week, agreeing with Corner Brook Pulp and Paper that it should be allowed to apply for a stay of proceedings prior to any certification application of the action against the company and the other defendants.

"The jurisdictional application may resolve the claim as against [Corner Brook Pulp and Paper] and otherwise focus the main issues at the certification hearing, especially those relating to the other defendants [Deer Lake Power]," Hurley stated in his written decision on the matter.

No date for the application hearing has yet been set.

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