Quebec City Quebec - The Quebec government is suing Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) for $409 million in damages as a result of the 2013 tragedy at Lake Megantic.
The lawsuit, filed on Friday at Quebec Superior Court, claims CP failed to take the necessary steps to prevent possible damage from the crude oil carried in the cars in case of derailment.
It also accuses CP of negligence which aggravated the scale of the tragedy.
Forty-seven people died in Lake Megantic after a convoy of 72 tanker cars left unattended rolled down a slope and derailed in the town's centre, causing a series of explosions and fires and leading to widespread devastation.
The train was operated by the defunct Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA), but the government claims CP was legally responsible for the crude oil that was being transported from North Dakota to refineries in the east.
The lawsuit contends CP was negligent in entrusting the volatile compounds to MMA, which, the government claims, had a poor safety record.
CP is the only company named in a class action suit launched by Lake Megantic victims which had refused to contribute to a compensation fund reached through an out-of-court settlement, a fund now worth about $452 million.
Last 13 Oct 2015 Superior Court Justice Gaetan Dumas signed off on the final agreement regarding the terms of the fund, after all sides agreed to change some of the language in the terms in order to secure CP's support for the deal.
The new terms of the fund gave certain legal assurance to CP in the event that it was taken to court over its responsibility in the derailment.