Railway Sued in Chicago Over Quebec Crash Killing 47

Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd., its chairman and several fuel companies were sued in Chicago on behalf of a person killed when a runaway oil-tank train crashed and exploded in a town near Quebec this month.

The defendants, including Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Chairman Edward Burkhardt, failed to take measures that would have prevented the accident, according to the lawsuit filed by Annick Roy, special administrator of the estate of Jean-Guy Veilleux, who was killed in the explosion. The complaint was filed in Cook County Circuit Court on July 22.

An unattended parked train with 72 tankers filled with crude oil rolled downhill into the town of Lac-Megantic after 1 a.m. on July 6. More than 20 tank cars derailed, crashed and exploded, killing 47 people. An estimated 1.5 million gallons of crude oil were spilled in the crash, according to the complaint.

Montreal, Maine & Atlantic “carelessly and negligently failed to train its employees to properly set brakes when trains are left unattended,” the complaint states.

Burkhardt didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the suit yesterday.

The case is Roy v. Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway, 2013-LOO8272, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois (Chicago).

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