Fonterra sues Icepak Group for $25M

Dairy giant Fonterra has been given permission to sue the owners of the Tamahere coolstore that exploded in 2008 for $25 million worth of cheese that it lost in the blaze.

Fonterra has already filed papers against the lessee of the building, Waikato Coldstorage Ltd (formerly Icepak Coolstores Ltd), as well as Mobile Refrigeration Specialists Ltd, which carried out refrigeration work at the cool store.

Now Justice Rodney Hansen has allowed Fonterra to include the owners and lessors of the Tamahere plant, Icepak Group Ltd, as an additional defendant in the action.

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Fireman an example of healing

David Beanland reckons his left pinkie hurt the most. That’s saying something given half his face was blown off. And his hands. He was one of eight firefighters who turned up to a supposedly routine call out to a coolstore in Tamahere on April 5, 2008.

The rest is history. A gas leak ignited when the firefighters entered the industrial building, sparking a massive explosion. Senior station officer Derek Lovell was killed.

The blaze turned Mr Beanland, in his own words, into a “piece of charred meat”. In reality, he’s lucky to be alive.

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MRS drip feeds fine

The Tauranga-based refrigeration company fined more than $56,000 over the Icepak coolstore explosion at Tamahere will pay off its fine at the rate of $50 a week.

Mobile Refrigeration Specialists (MRS) was back in the Hamilton District Court last week seeking to have part of its fine remitted on the grounds of financial hardship.

MRS and Icepak Coolstores were fined $56,200 and $37,200 respectively when sentenced last December by Judge Robert Spear.

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Court declines Mobile Refrig appeal

The Court of Appeal has declined an application by Mobile Refrigeration Specialists (MRS) for special leave to appeal against a fine and reparation order relating to the 2008 Icepak Coolstores fire at Tamahere.

MRS was responsible for the installation of a hydrocarbon-based refrigerant in the Tamahere coolstores, which exploded in an inferno in April 2008, killing fireman Derek Lovell and injuring several others.

MRS pleaded guilty in the Hamilton District Court to charges laid under the Health and Safety Act, and was fined $56,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $175,000.

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Men’s health saved by whisker

Fifteen Hamilton firemen, including two involved in the Icepak Coolstores tragedy, are sacrificing their upper lips for the Movember mean’s health fundraiser.

Led by Adrian Brown and including Cameron Grylls, both injured at the 2008 Tamahere fire, the Red Watch Mo Bros are growing moustaches for the month to support the Movember Fundation, which raises funds and awareness for men’s health.

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