An aerial photo shows the aftermath of the derailment, explosions, and fire that leveled part of Lake Megantic - Date/Photographer unknown.
7 November 2013
Two More Oil Firms Added to
Class Action Lawsuit
Lake Megantic Quebec - A pair of oil producers has been added as respondents in a class action lawsuit seeking compensation from the July rail disaster in Lake Megantic that killed an estimated 47 people.
According to Toronto law firm Rochon Renova LLP, both Marathon Oil Corporation and Slawson Exploration Company Incorporated have been added to the lawsuit filed in Quebec court on behalf of those affected by the 6 Jul 2013 derailment, explosions, and inferno that destroyed the heart of the small town in eastern Quebec.
Texas-based Marathon and Slawson Exploration, the oil and gas division of Slawson Companies, join a list of respondents that include railway operators Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), rail car manufacturers General Electric Railcar Corporation (GE), Trinity Industries Incorporated, Union Tank Car Company, and a host of other companies and individuals.
Thomas Harding, whom the lawsuit alleges was the train's driver at the time of the incident, is also named in the lawsuit, as is MMA chair Edward Burkhardt.
The lawsuit claims Marathon and Slawson were two of the companies that produced the fuel on board the MMA train and "failed to provide adequate warnings about the composition of the shale liquids and the true dangers associated with shipping it by rail."
The train, carrying 72 DOT-111 tank cars at the time, was heading to Irving Oil Limited's New Brunswick refinery when the disaster happened.
These parties were added "on the basis that they knew, or should have been aware through testing, that the shale liquids carried a much greater risk of explosion and flammability than typical crude oil," lawyer Daniel E. Larochelle said in a statement.
"They should have communicated this increased risk to the purchasers and shippers of the shale liquids."
The lawsuit contains allegations not tested in a court of law.