Puslinch Township settles lawsuit with Quinnells

Puslinch Township has reached a settlement with two former fire officials that will see the pair paid almost $166,000.

Former Fire Chief Dan Quin­nell will be receiving $133,860, while his son and former fire prevention officer Richard Quinnell will be paid $31,900.

“There was no admission of liability on the part of any of the parties,” Mayor Brad Whit­combe said on July 2.

“The lawsuit will be dismissed and the township has obtained a full and final release from the plaintiffs.”

The rest of council offered no comment on the matter.

The Quinnells, fired in December amidst allegations of “financial discrepancies” and what councillor Dick Vis­ser called  “intimidation” of firefighters, filed a wrongful dismissal suit about a month later, seeking almost $900,000 in damages from the township.

In a statement released on July 4 Dan Quinnell said he and his son are happy with the outcome.

“Based upon the settlement reached with the township, we feel vindicated,” Quinnell said.

His letter went on to thank lawyers Ross Wells and Bettina Burgess, from Gowling  Lafleur Henderson, as well as “family, friends and the many residents of Puslinch Town­ship, Wellington County and all the members of the Bramp­ton Fire Department” for their support during a “very trying time.”

Puslinch legal bills in the dispute had reached a reported total of $26,400 – for services up until the end of April – bringing the total cost of the legal battle to over $192,161.

That total will likely reach $200,000, as the township has yet to receive legal bills for any work completed in May and June by the Toronto law firm of Filion Wakely Thorup Ange­l­etti.

On June 23 the township held a closed session special council meeting with the law firm, lasting two hours and 39 minutes, where the details of the settlement may have been finalized and approved by council.