SHERBROOKE, Que.—Quebec Superior Court Justice Gaetan Dumas will begin hearing arguments today about whether or not he should approve the $431.5-million settlement fund for victims and creditors of the 2013 Lac-Megantic, Que., train derailment that killed 47 people.
About 25 companies accused of responsibility in the disaster offered a combined $431.5 million in exchange for release from legal liability in the U.S. and Canada.
Victims and creditors unanimously accepted the Lac-Megantic settlement fund terms on June 8.
The only company accused in the derailment to not offer money is Canadian Pacific Railway, whose lawyers are expected to argue the Lac-Megantic settlement process is unfair and should be scrapped.
Canadian Pacific lawyers say the settlement fund prejudices the railway company because it cannot counter-sue the other firms accused in the derailment—who will be released from legal liability—if they opt to take CPR to court to recoup money offered to the fund.
Lawyers representing victims say Canadian Pacific is acting “deplorably” by only speaking out recently against the settlement fund and staying silent during months of court proceedings.
Justice Dumas is expected to rule on the admissibility of the fund at a later date.