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Nov 25, 2015

On November 9, 2015, the Supreme Court of British Columbia released its decision and reasons for judgment in favour of Tahoe Resources Inc. in the case of Garcia v. Tahoe Resources Inc.

The decision comes after a three day hearing in April 2015 in which Tahoe asked the Supreme Court of British Columbia to decline jurisdiction to adjudicate the plaintiffs’ claims and to stay the action.

The lawsuit was filed in June 2014 by seven Guatemalan nationals who sought damages for injuries they claim to have suffered at the hands of security personnel while protesting at Tahoe’s Escobal Mine in Guatemala in April 2013. The plaintiffs alleged, among other things, that Tahoe was negligent for failure to institute procedures and oversight to ensure that security personnel complied with international guidelines and principles. This case is one of a number of other such tort cases that have recently been launched in Canada against parent companies with subsidiaries operating in foreign countries.

In the Garcia case, Tahoe argued that Guatemala was clearly the more appropriate forum for determination of the plaintiffs’ claims. The judge granted Tahoe’s application and held that Tahoe established Guatemala as the more appropriate forum for the determination of this case.

Tahoe was represented by McMillan LLP who worked in collaboration with Tahoe’s counsel based in Reno, Nevada and counsel and expert witnesses based in Guatemala. The McMillan team was led by Karen Carteri and consisted of Amandeep Sandhu, Robert Wisner, Markus Koehnen, Melanie Harmer, Kaitlyn Meyer, Linda Yang and Paula Krawus.