Copper Mesa Mining lawsuit (re Ecuador)
In March 2009, members of the Junín community in Ecuador filed suit in Canada against Copper Mesa Mining, its two directors and the Toronto Stock Exchange, alleging that they suffered injuries, death threats and other intimidation by private security forces hired by the mining company. In March 2011, the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the case, ruling that the plaintiffs had failed to plead the material facts necessary to link the defendants with the alleged abuse.
Para la versión en español de este perfil de las demandas judiciales, haga clic acá.
On 3 March 2009, members of the Junín community in Ecuador filed a lawsuit in Canada against Copper Mesa Mining (formerly Ascendant Copper), its two directors and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), alleging that they suffered injuries, death threats and other intimidation by private security forces hired by Copper Mesa. The plaintiffs sought to recover damages of over C$1 billion. Copper Mesa acquired concession rights for an open-pit mine in the Junín region of Ecuador in July 2004. The plaintiffs publicly opposed this mine and claim that, due to their opposition, private security forces and others paid by Copper Mesa carried out a campaign of intimidation and death threats against them. The plaintiffs charge that on 2 December 2006, private security forces hired by Copper Mesa clashed with protesters from the Junín community, injuring the plaintiffs. They also alleged that by listing Copper Mesa on the stock exchange and thereby providing the company with access to funding, the TSX was complicit in the abuses against the plaintiffs.
In March 2010, all of the defendants filed motions to dismiss the suit, claiming that the plaintiffs failed to disclose a reasonable cause of action (i.e., failed to make a valid legal claim). On 7 May 2010, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed the lawsuit. The plaintiffs appealed the decision. On 11 March 2011, the Ontario Court of Appeal affirmed the lower court’s dismissal. The court ruled that the plaintiffs had failed to plead the material facts necessary to link the defendants with the abuses alleged.
- “Ecuadorians in Court over Canadian Mine”, CBC News, 25 Mar 2010
- “Copper Mesa sued for alleged assault”, Brett Popplewell, The Star, 22 Nov 2009
- “Toronto Stock Exchange caught in $1 billion lawsuit”, Christopher Olson, Link [Canada], 10 Mar 2009
- “Canadian Mining Firm Financed Violence in Ecuador: Lawsuit”, Jennifer Moore, The Tyee, 3 Mar 2009
- [video] “A Canadian mine – leads to conflict”, The Star, 20 Nov 2009
- “Ascendant Copper Agrees to Curtail Activities in Ecuador”, MiningWatch Canada, 30 Mar 2007
- TMX [TSX parent company]: “TSX Delisting Review - Copper Mesa Mining Corporation (CUX)”, 19 Jan 2010 [press release]
- Klippensteins Barristers & Solicitors [counsel for the plaintiffs]: Ecuadorians Lose Appeal in Lawsuit Against Canadian Mining Company and TSX: Canadian law continues to fail communities harmed by Canadian mining overseas, 30 Apr 2011
- Klippensteins Barristers & Solicitors: Ramirez v. Copper Mesa
- Court of Appeal for Ontario: [PDF] Ramirez v. Copper Mesa - judgment, 11 Mar 2011
Ramirez v. Copper Mesa, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Canada:
- [PDF] Plaintiffs’ Responding Factum to TSX Defendants Motion to Strike, 12 Mar 2010
- [PDF] Plaintiffs’ Responding Factum to Copper Mesa Defendants Motion to Strike, 12 Mar 2010
- [PDF] [Plaintiffs’] Statement of Claim, 3 Mar 2009