A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in Illinois by the guardian of a girl whose father died in a disastrous train crash in Quebec. It is believed to be the first lawsuit filed in the U.S. over the July 6 train derailment in which 72 crude oil tankers exploded in the village of Lac-Megantic, killing nearly 50 people.
Fanny Roy Veilleux’s father Jean-Guy Veilleux, a resident of Lac-Megantic, allegedly died in the train crash. The minor girl’s guardian, Annick Roy, filed the lawsuit in Cook County against Montreal Maine, the railroad operator. World Fuel Services Corp. is also named as a defendant.
The lawsuit accuses the defendants of negligence in failing to keep the oil tankers compliant with reasonable safety standards. According to the complaint, problems with the tankers, known as DOT-111s, have been well-documented. The lawsuit alleges that the railroad and petroleum industries were aware of design flaws in the tanker cars and failed to take action to address the danger of the cars rupturing.
According to the lawsuit, the tanker cars were of the same type that ruptured in Cherry Valley, Illinois in 2009, spilling 324,000 gallons of ethanol. The complaint alleges that the DOT-111s in the current lawsuit did not have safety improvements that were recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board.
A class-action lawsuit was filed earlier in Quebec Superior Court on behalf of residents of Lac-Megantic.