U.S. Capital

Briskman Briskman & Greenberg Lawyer Remarks on Illinois Wrongful Death Lawsuits Over Canadian Train Crash

Oct 1, 2013

Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) October 1, 2013 – At least 12 wrongful death lawsuits have been filed in Illinois over a Quebec, Canada train crash.

The July 6 train derailment in the town of Lac-Megantic resulted in the deaths of 47 people. Seventy-two oil tankers exploded in the crash, creating a wall of fire 12 stories high that destroyed more than 30 buildings and led to the evacuation of the town. Twelve wrongful death lawsuits have been filed in Cook County, with perhaps 30 more expected.

“A wrongful death lawsuit is a way for the families of the victims to gain some compensation for their loss in this horrible accident,” said Paul Greenberg, a wrongful death attorney not involved in the case.

The wrongful death lawsuits named 11 defendants, including Rail World Inc., the company that owned the freight train, and its CEO, Edward Burkhardt. Although the victims are all Canadian, Rail World is based in Cook County, Illinois. The plaintiffs are seeking damages in excess of $1 million for each count of wrongful death.

Also named in the lawsuits is Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA), a subsidiary of Rail World. In addition to the lawsuits, MMA is facing cleanup demands from the town of Lac-Megantic, and the company filed for bankruptcy in a Maine court, saying that its obligations exceeded its assets, including the expected recovery from insurance policies.

MMA said in its bankruptcy filing that environmental cleanup costs were expected to be more than $194 million. Quebec’s environment minister issued an emergency decontamination order directing the company to clean up the estimated more than 1.5 million gallons of crude oil spilled in the accident.

MMA said that it holds a $25 million liability policy with XL Insurance Co., insuring it against costs such as fire suppression, evacuation, bodily injury, property damage and pollution cleanup. The company said that XL had failed to make any payments, and that the expected liability far exceeds the limits of the policy.

In addition to the wrongful death lawsuits and the cleanup order, MMA is facing a criminal investigation by Canadian authorities. Police searched the Quebec offices of the railway company to collect undisclosed evidence.

Learn more at http://www.briskmanandbriskman.com/practice-areas/wrongful-death/

Briskman Briskman & Greenberg
351 West Hubbard Street, Ste 810
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 312.222.0010
Facebook: Like Us!
Google Places: Contact a Chicago personal injury lawyer from Briskman Briskman & Greenberg on Google Places!

  • Effexor Linked to Birth Injuries
    The use of the antidepressant Effexor by pregnant women has been linked to birth injuries. Effexor, introduced in 1993, was the first serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant, as distinguished from the more common selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The FDA approved the drug for treatment of anxiety and depression, and by 2007 it was the […]
  • Study Finds Teen Drivers Can Add 90 Percent to Insurance Costs
    According to a new report, an Illinois married couple who adds a teenage driver to their auto insurance policy will see their premium payments increase by an average of 90 percent. That is above the national average rise of 84 percent. On the national level, male teenage drivers cause insurance premiums to rise by an […]
  • Employee Denied Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Fall from Chair
    The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission ruled that a Department of Human Services worker was not entitled to compensation for a fall from a chair, because her work did not expose her to an increased risk of falling. A security therapy aide employed by the Department of Human Services testified that she was writing notes while […]
  • Hospitals and Doctors Not Required to Carry Malpractice Insurance
    It may surprise some to learn that hospitals and doctors in Illinois are not required to carry medical malpractice insurance. Although the law requires a driver to be insured before getting behind the wheel, professionals engaged in the practice of medicine may choose to forgo purchasing insurance. While the vast majority of hospitals and doctors […]
  • Illinois Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Over Quebec Train Crash
    A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in Illinois by the guardian of a girl whose father died in a disastrous train crash in Quebec. It is believed to be the first lawsuit filed in the U.S. over the July 6 train derailment in which 72 crude oil tankers exploded in the village of Lac-Megantic, […]