OHS Canada Magazine

Canadian Pacific Railway not liable in Lac Megantic train crash: Quebec court

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December 15, 2022
By The Canadian Press

Health & Safety Canadian Pacific Rail Lac Mégantic Quebec rail safety

(Steve/Adobe Stock)

A Quebec Superior Court judge says Canadian Pacific Railway is not liable in the 2013 Lac-Megantic, Que., railway disaster that killed 47 people.

Justice Martin Bureau ruled Wednesday that the actions the railway company was accused of are not the direct, immediate and logical cause of the damages suffered by the victims of the tragedy.

Bureau says the fault for the disaster lies with the train conductor, Thomas Harding, and with Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway Limited — Harding’s employer and owner of the runaway train.

Canadian Pacific is the only company accused of responsibility in the derailment that did not participate in a $430-million settlement fund for victims, which was created as part of a class-action lawsuit involving almost 4,000 people.

The company maintained it bore no responsibility for the disaster because the train was not operated by CP employees or travelling on CP tracks when it derailed.


On July 6, 2013, an unmanned train carrying crude oil and owned by MMA roared into Lac-Megantic and derailed, with its cargo exploding and decimating part of the downtown core and killing 47 people.


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