Le Roi Litigation

Le Roi Litigation

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The Le Roi litigation involved international law and lasted three years. It evolved around the sale of the Le Roi mine by its American owners to the British-America Corporation.

A majority group, under Col. Peyton, agreed to a sale price of three million dollars, while a minority faction, led by Judge Turner, held out for five million. The majority group sold their shares to the B.A. Corporation and attempted to control the Le Roi mine from Rossland, claiming British law favoured the majority. The minority group held out in Spokane, claiming British law had no jurisdiction in the state of Washington.

The Rossland group hired a special train and spirited the seal of office away from Spokane to Rossland, only to discover too late that a double switch had been made and they had been tricked into taking the wrong seal.

The Spokane group countered by obtaining an injunction to restrain against important shareholders from leaving the country and hired deputies to enforce the injunction. Nevertheless, Governor MacIntosh, the managing director  of the B.A. Corporation, hired another special train, herded the Spokane shareholders aboard and, in defiance of  the armed deputies, made a dash for the Canadian border. One diligent deputy clung to the train until it reached the border but was dissuaded from going any further by threat of arrest by Canadian border officials.

The minority group eventually gave in, and the balance of the sale of the Le Roi to the B.A. Corporation was settled with the signing of the “million dollar cheque” in Rossland.


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