Lac Mégantic Train Derailment – Authorization To Institute a Class Action Against DPTS Marketing and Dakota Petroleum Transport Solutions Denied

May 13, 2015

Torys represented DPTS Marketing (DPTS) and Dakota Petroleum Transport Solutions (Dakota) with a team that included Sylvie Rodrigue, Geneviève Bertrand and Marie-Ève Gingras.

On May 8, 2015, Justice Martin Bureau authorized the petitioners to institute a class action against some respondents but refused such authorization against DPTS and Dakota. Justice Bureau concluded that the facts alleged against DPTS and Dakota were too vague and general and, therefore, the threshold for the authorization of a class action was not met.

The class action proceeding was filed by the victims of the Lac Mégantic train derailment in the Summer of 2013.

The class action proceedings initially targeted more than 40 parties, including Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railways (MMAR) and some related entities, which filed for an initial order pursuant to the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) shortly after the derailment. Consequently, the proceedings against them were stayed.

In the context of MMAR’s CCAA proceedings, several parties agreed to participate to MMAR’s plan of compromise and arrangement by contributing to an indemnity fund to be distributed to the Lac Mégantic derailment victims, the whole in exchange for a release. As a result, the class action proceeding had been stayed against these settling parties.

On May 8, 2015, Justice Bureau rendered his judgment in the class action proceeding with respect to the non-settling parties against which the stay of proceedings was no longer in force, including DPTS and Dakota.