Tag Archives: Insurance and liability

Court delays Lac-Mégantic settlement

[Editor: Liability is a huge – and lingering – issue when it comes to oil train derailments and catastrophic firey explosions.  There have been daily updates this past week on an announced settlement in the massive Lac-Mégantic disaster of July, 2013.  We watch and wait for potentially precedent-setting decisions.  See below.  – RS]

Court delays ruling on 2013 Quebec oil train crash settlement

(Reuters) — A Quebec judge reserved his decision on Wednesday on whether to grant a motion that would clear the way for a settlement between victims of the 2013 Lac-Megantic oil train disaster and dozens of companies and individuals linked to the crash that killed 47 people.  Read More >

Canadian Pacific asks judge not to approve Lac-Megantic derailment settlement

In this July 6, 2013 file photo, smoke rises from railway cars carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Que.
In this July 6, 2013 file photo, smoke rises from railway cars carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Que. Paul Chiasson / THE CANADIAN PRESS

(Calgary Herald) — SHERBROOKE, Que. – Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.’s lawyers asked a Quebec judge not to approve a proposed $430-million settlement fund for victims of the Lac-Megantic train derailment because they say its terms are unfair to the company.  Read More >

Quebec court to hear arguments in $431 million settlement for Lac-Megantic victims

(Globalnews.ca) – WATCH: A settlement to compensate victims of the Lac-Megantic train disaster may be in danger. Lawyers for Canadian Pacific are questioning the legitimacy of the entire process, just two days before a judge was set to approve the deal. As Mike Armstrong explains, the last minute hiccup could mean a delay of months or even years.  Read More >


Canadian Pacific legal challenge plunges Lac-Mégantic settlement into question

(Montreal Gazette) – A lawyer for the defunct railroad at the centre of the Lac-Mégantic train derailment said Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. is acting deplorably and offensively by attempting to shut down proceedings to distribute more than $430 million to victims and creditors of the 2013 tragedy.  Read More >


    Oil companies pay into compensation fund for Quebec train crash – deny further liability

    Repost from The Hill

    Oil companies pay into compensation fund for Quebec train crash

    By Timothy Cama – 06/11/15 08:35 AM EDT
    This July 16, 2013, file photo shows firefighters and workers at the crash site of a train derailment that killed 47 people in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. A watchdog from the Justice Department is looking for transparency on dollar amounts that oil companies are paying into a fund for victims of the crash. —Ryan Remiorz/Associated Press

    Oil companies have contributed tens of millions of dollars toward a fund to compensate victims of a major 2013 oil train disaster in Quebec, Canada, that killed 47.

    Companies like Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Marathon Oil Corp., ConocoPhillips Co. and Irving Oil Ltd. have paid into the $345 million fund, though they deny responsibility for the events on the train transporting their products, The Wall Street Journal reports.

    If courts in the United States and Canada approve the oil companies’ role in the fund, the companies will be shielded from liability for any negligence they had involving the disaster in Lac-Megantic, including for failing to test the oil’s vulnerability.

    The Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd., which ran the train that derailed and exploded, filed for bankruptcy shortly after the incident.

    But its court-appointed trustee said the oil companies knew that the oil was volatile and dangerous.

    The oil companies have responded that their responsibility ended when they extracted the oil.

    Most of the companies that contributed to the fund declined to comment to The Wall Street Journal. Marathon Oil told the newspaper that its contribution is not an acknowledgment of liability.

    The Quebec disaster led officials in both Canada and the United States to pay new attention to the use of oil trains, which has increased dramatically in recent years along with oil production in places like the Bakken shale region.

    It has resulted in rules in both countries that will ban the use of the oldest tank cars for oil in the coming years, as well as speed restrictions and other operational regulations.

    Some Democratic lawmakers, led by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), have pushed for regulations limiting oil volatility in rail transport.

      Lac-Mégantic disaster class-action suit gets green light

      Repost from CBC News Montreal

      Lac-Mégantic disaster class-action suit gets green light

      Plaintiffs told they cannot sue Irving Oil or now-bankrupt Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway
      The Canadian Press, May 09, 2015 11:36 AM ET

      A class-action lawsuit has been approved almost two years after a train derailment and explosion killed 47 people in Lac-Mégantic, Que.

      But the Quebec Superior Court justice’s ruling means it is far more limited in scope.

      Justice Martin Bureau has given the plaintiffs permission to go after only two companies — World Fuel Services and Canadian Pacific Railway.

      Initially, the legal action targeted 37 different parties, including Irving Oil, the now-bankrupt Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway and its former president, Edward Burkhardt.

      In January, victims of the rail disaster reached a major financial settlement with Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Canada.

      The lawsuit alleges CPR was negligent and there was a lack of prudence in all circumstances leading up to the tragedy.

      The lawsuit was filed by three Lac Mégantic residents — Guy Ouellet, Serge Jacques and Louis-Serge Parent — on behalf of all the victims.

      The exact amount being sought will be determined at a later date.