A Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway train derailed and exploded on July 6, 2013 in Lac-Megantic. The train explosion killed forty-seven passengers. The explosion also destroyed much of the town. According to Yahoo News, a $77.2 million settlement has now been offered to families of the victims by the train company.
Relatives of the passengers who perished in the derailment have been offered the $77.2 million settlement for the wrongful death of the forty- seven passengers. In addition, the estate of a firefighter who committed suicide after pulling the bodies from the wreckage is included in the proposed settlement amount. The lawyer representing the families in the lawsuit is attorney Peter Flowers. The settlement is not official yet because the courts and creditors, in addition to the parties, need to approve the final amount. After the derailment, the train company filed for bankruptcy. Rail World Inc. owned Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway before the company was sold.
The $77.2 million settlement amount to be paid by the train company is part of a much larger settlement amount of $300 million after pooling the payments made by additional defendants. These companies include about twenty-four oil-exploration firms, tank-car owners, Irving Oil, in addition to the Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway. The personal injury lawsuit was filed in the state of Illinois. Many of the firms involved in the lawsuit are American companies, and Illinois does not have a limit on payout amounts to victims. The defendants also agreed to pay creditors, such as the Quebec and Canadian governments and Lac-Megantic property owners.
The CEO of Rail World Inc., Edward Burkhardt, has promised to personally pay money to the victims in the explosion. Two companies, however, have not been a part of the settlement. These two companies are listed as Canadian Pacific Railway and World Fuel Services Corp.
The lawsuit alleged that the oil being transported was not properly classified. Had the oil been properly classified, it is alleged that it is likely the accident could have been avoided.
The driver of the train, Tom Harding, and two additional employees aboard the train, are facing criminal charges including forty-seven counts of criminal negligence causing death. Such a conviction could include a maximum of a life sentence.
If you or a loved one have been victims of an explosion accident due to the negligence of another, contact our expert Boston explosion injury attorneys 24/7 at 617-787-3700.