LAC-MÉGANTIC, QC, Aug. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadian Pacific Railway Co. ("CP") has been added as a respondent. It is alleged that CP entrusted the transport of highly explosive shale liquids to a carrier with one of the poorest safety records in the industry which was operating on poorly maintained "excepted track" that did not permit the transport of flammable or dangerous goods, with speeds limited to 10 km/h. It is also alleged that CP knew at that time that MMA was insolvent and underinsured.
The amendment has also added Union Tank Car Company, Trinity Industries and General Electric Rail Car Services Corp. (lessors of the tanker cars) and Western Petroleum Company (lessee of the tanker cars). Lac-Mégantic lawyer Mtre. Daniel Larochelle explained that these parties were added "on the basis that they were well aware that these non-reinforced older model DOT-111 tankers were wholly unsuitable for the transport of these highly explosive shale liquids." He stated that investigations continue to ensure that all responsible parties will be held accountable.
The proposed representative plaintiffs are Guy Ouellet, whose partner Diane Bizier died in the explosion, and Yannick Gagné, the owner of popular restaurant Musi-Café, which was destroyed as a result of the derailment and ensuing explosions.
A team of experienced class action lawyers has been assembled to assist the Lac-Mégantic community to prosecute this action, and consists of Mtre. Daniel Larochelle, Consumer Law Group in Montreal, Rochon Genova LLP of Toronto and Lieff Cabraser Heimann and Bernstein LLP of New York and San Francisco.