Lawsuits in MMA Train Derailment May be Filed in Chicago

In light of all of the recent news coverage, our lawyers thought it was important to update our readers on the tragic train derailment that happened this past Saturday in Quebec.. According to the latest reports, the accident has already left a reported 20 people dead, and inspectors say that this number could balloon to as high as 50 before their search of the site is concluded. With investigators racking their brains to piece the events of Saturday back together, litigation could soon follow against Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, as well as their Chicago based affiliate, Rail World, Inc. (Reuters; Chicago Sun Times)

Only hours after an unmanned runaway train carrying 72 tankers of crude oil derailed and exploded in the Quebec city of Lac-Mégantic, MMA chairman Ed Burkhardt was questioned about potential lawsuits. Burkhardt told one agency that he expected the claims against his railway to amount to “a lot of money,” but if Chicago becomes the venue and jurisdiction of choice for the lawsuits, settlements could be substantially higher than even the chairman expects. (Leader-Post)

United States courts traditionally feature more liberal damage laws, which ensure that people injured by the negligent conduct of corporations are fully compensated for the harms caused to them. Because the MMA’s management and investment firm, Rail World, Inc., is located in Chicago, attorneys may look at the circumstances as a chance to shift the venue and jurisdiction choice to the United States.

The blast has left roughly 30 buildings completely destroyed, including the town’s public library, and has forced about one-third of the areas 6,000 residents to leave their homes. Obviously at this point there is far more than money at stake here, and our lawyers would like you to remember to keep the citizens of Lac-Mégantic in your thoughts and prayers in the coming weeks and months. Currently, 30 people still remain missing, and we can only hope that they will soon be able to return home to their families. It is important to remember that when tragedies like these do occur, they affect real people and have real and pressing implications. This case isn’t about money, and it shouldn’t be; it is about helping a community get back on its feet after the unthinkable, and we are sincerely hopeful that they are able to do it sooner than later.

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