Why a B.C. court is hearing a Guatemala mining case – by Hayley Woodin (Business Vancouver – June 27, 2017)


Three years of legal wrangling lands Tahoe Resources lawsuit back in BC Supreme Court

It took three years and three courts to determine where to sue Tahoe Resources Inc. (TSX:THO; NYSE:TAHO) for battery and negligence. The original lawsuit – a response to a violent altercation at a Tahoe subsidiary’s Guatemalan mine site – was filed in June 2014, then set aside, as lawyers on both sides of the case argued whether British Columbia or Guatemala was the more appropriate forum for the suit.

In 2015, the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled it was the latter; earlier this year, the BC Court of Appeal decided it was the former. Most recently, Tahoe applied for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. The court’s decision not to hear the case means the lawsuit will proceed in British Columbia.

“We’re of course disappointed that the Supreme Court took a pass,” said Edie Hofmeister, vice-president of corporate affairs and general counsel at Tahoe. “We’re kind of at Square 1 here, really.” Square 1 meaning Tahoe will now respond to the original notice of claim filed three years ago, though with one notable difference: three of the seven plaintiffs who first filed the suit settled with the company in April.

Hofmeister said the details of the settlement are confidential, but confirmed that the three men negotiated as a group. Only four of the plaintiffs will be pursuing legal action in B.C.

Guatemala vs. British Columbia

Tahoe has spent years arguing that the lawsuit, filed by Vancouver law firm Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman, was better suited to Guatemala. It’s the location of the Escobal mine, which is owned by Minera San Rafael, Tahoe’s Guatemalan subsidiary. It’s where the original seven plaintiffs alleged the mine’s private security personnel deliberately shot and injured them during a protest.

For the rest of this article: https://www.biv.com/article/2017/6/why-bc-court-hearing-guatemala-mining-case/