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Family of Quebec Train Crash Victim Sues US Companies

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The guardian of a young girl whose father was killed in a Quebec train crash in July has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois against several railway and fuel service companies that are related to the wreck.

The lawsuit is thought to be the first filed in the US related to the train derailment on July 6 that sent 72 crude oil tankers smashing through the village of Lac-Megantic in Quebec. They exploded into flame and killed nearly 50 people.

Annick Roy, who is the guardian of Fanny Veilleux, and whose father is alleged to have burned to death in the wreck, filed the suit in Cook County. The court documents do not provide the age of Veilleux, but she appears to be a minor.

The defendants in the case include Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway Inc, its parent company Rail World Inc, MMA Chairman Edward Burkhardt, and fuel services company World Fuel Services Corp.

Roy states in the suit that the companies did not keep the oil tankers on the train up on government safety regulations, and were negligent in the death of the man.

The lawsuit states that problems with the DOT-111 tankers have been known, with tankers rupturing when they derail. This has been documented by government regulators in the US and Canada and by the media. Also, the suit notes that railroad and petroleum companies have known that the DOT-111 has design flaws, but they have ignored the NTSB’s calls to deal with the dangers of the easily-ruptured tankers.

Roy stated in the lawsuit that the tanker cars that spilled in this case were the same type as those that ruptured in another derailment in 2009 in Cherry Valley, Illinois. That wreck caused the spillage of more than 300,000 gallons of ethanol.

Train wrecks that result in chemical spills and/or explosions are more common than people realize, and companies often are held accountable for negligence in many states around the US.

Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton & Favaloro, P.C. is a personal injury law firm in Virginia that often writes about railroad negligence lawsuits.