Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Faces Class Action over Lac-Megantic Disaster

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Lac-Mégantic, PQ: Two residents of Lac-Mégantic have filed a train crash class action lawsuit against the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic railway, company chairman Edward Burkhardt and president Robert Grindrod. On Thursday, July 18, the class action proceeding (motion for authorization) was amended to include further defendants, World Fuel Services Corp., Dakota Plains Holdings, Irving Oil Limited, and their subsidiaries. World Fuel Services is a publicly traded US corporation and Irving Oil is one of Canada's largest oil companies.

The claims made against the newly added defendants include the allegation that they failed to ensure that the highly flammable contents of the DOT-111 tankers that derailed in Lac-Mégantic's downtown area in the early morning hours of July 6, 2013 were properly contained and safely transported. The Motion to authorize was amended to reflect the fact that the liability for the accident is spread across a broader network of involved corporations. As the facts develop additional entities may be implicated.

The class action is being pursued to ensure that the victims of the July 6, 2013 derailment and all those affected obtain compensation for their substantial losses. The proposed representative plaintiffs are Guy Ouellet, whose partner, Diane Bizier, died in the explosion and Yannick Gagné, the owner of the popular restaurant, Musi-Café, which was destroyed as a result of the derailment and ensuing explosions.

A team of class action lawyers has been assembled to assist the Lac-Mégantic community to litigate the action, and consists of Lac-Mégantic lawyer Daniel E. Larochelle, Consumer Law Group Inc. in Montreal, Rochon Genova LLP of Toronto and Lieff Cabraser Heimann and Bernstein LLP of New York and San Francisco.

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Last updated July 19 2013

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