MMA Railway Settlement Announcement $200 Million for Lac-Mégantic Train Derailment Disaster Victims
CHICAGO— In accordance with a draft Plan of Compromise and Arrangement filed with the Quebec Superior Court today in the CCAA case for Montreal Maine and Atlantic Canada Co. (MMAC), nearly $200 million in settlement funds will be distributed to the victims of the Lac-Mégantic, Quebec train derailment disaster that occurred on July 6, 2013. According to the trustee for Montreal Maine and Atlantic Canada Ltd. (MMA), MMAC's U.S. parent company, a similar plan will soon be filed in the MMA chapter 11 case. In addition, the parties continue to pursue additional settlements with parties who are not yet contributors, failing which litigation will continue against those parties, with the goal of materially increasing the settlement fund.
"We are pleased to finally reach a partial resolution and settlement for the victims of the train derailment disaster," said Robert Keach, the appointed trustee for the MMA bankruptcy case. "Due to the diligence and respect by all parties associated with this plan in Canada and the United States, we have put forward a favorable resolution. With continued diligence by all parties, the settlement amount will be significantly higher."
The settlement is subject to approval by the courts presiding over the MMA and MMAC cases. Upon approval, the settlement funds will be split and distributed to:
- The Wrongful Death Claimants, including 48 deceased victims and their families
- The Personal Injury and Moral Damages Claimants
- Property and Economic Damages Claimants
- Insurer Claimants
- Government Claimants
"Our litigation in Illinois played a dramatic role in increasing the number of funds that will be distributed to our clients who are the families of the deceased victims of the Lac-Megantic disaster," said Peter Flowers, wrongful death plaintiffs' lawyer of Meyers & Flowers Law Firm in Chicago, who is working directly with Attorney Jason Webster, of The Webster Law Firm in Houston. Flowers and Webster are representing the plaintiffs who died in the train disaster and their families. Attorney Mitchell Toups of Beaumont, Texas, is also involved in the legal representation of the wrongful death victims.
"We have driven the value in the wrongful death estate higher than our clients would have received under Canadian law," Flowers said. "But, this is just the beginning of the settlements for our clients, as there are three huge contributors to this disaster including World Fuel Services, Canadian Pacific Railway, and Irving Oil. And they are not yet contributing a penny to this resolution. We will turn over every stone on earth before we give up on them and intend on pursuing them in Illinois and any other state to ensure that they are brought to justice and held responsible for this disaster."