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Wrongful death suit in Quebec train crash filed in US

(Reuters) – The guardian of a girl whose Canadian father died in the tragic Quebec train crash this month filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois on Monday against a number of railway and fuel services companies connected with the disaster.

The lawsuit is believed to be the first filed in the United States related to the train derailment in the early hours of July 6 that sent 72 tankers of crude oil crashing into the village of Lac-Megantic in Quebec, where they exploded in a ball of fire, killing almost 50 people.

Annick Roy, the guardian of Fanny Roy Veilleux, whose father Jean-Guy Veilleux, a Lac-Megantic resident, allegedly burned to death as a result of the train crash, filed the lawsuit in Cook County. Court documents did not provide the age of Fanny Roy Veilleux, but described her as a minor daughter.

The defendants include railroad operator 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 alleges in the suit that the companies largely failed to keep the train’s oil tankers, known as DOT-111s, up to reasonable government safety standards and are therefore negligent in the death of Veilleux.

“For more than 20 years, problems with DOT-111 tankers rupturing upon derailment have been well documented by government safety regulators and media outlets,” Roy said in the lawsuit. “The railroad and petroleum industries have long acknowledged the design flaws in the DOT-111, but have consistently ignored the (National Transportation Safety Board’s) calls to address the dangers associated with rupture of the tankers.”

Roy said in the lawsuit that the tanker cars that spilled in Lac-Megantic were the same type that ruptured in a 2009 [...]

By |July 24th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Wrongful death suit in Quebec train crash filed in US|

Wrongful death suit filed against Moss Point plant

GULFPORT — An Omega Protein employee, who had been trying to unionize workers because of what he perceived as an unsafe work environment at the Moss Point plant, was dragged into a conveyer in April 2012 and bled to death, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by the man’s mother.

Cynthia Hebert is suing Omega Protein, ACE American Insurance Co. and ESIS Inc. seeking compensatory and punitive damages for wrongful death, pain and suffering, negligence and breach of contract in the death of her son Christopher Allen Hebert. David Harris Jr. of Corban Gunn Van Cleave Law Firm in Biloxi is representing her.

Christopher Hebert died April 9, 2012, at Omega Protein’s Moss Point fish-processing plant on Elder Ferry Road, which produces omega-3 fish oil and specialty fish-meal products. He had worked at the plant about three years. In the years leading up to his death, the suit alleges, his attempts to unionize employees were met with “harsh resistance” from management.

In the suit, his mother claims Omega “engaged in intentional conduct designed to bring about injury, or death, to Christopher.”

No action on reports

Christopher Hebert worked in the maintenance department and reported to supervisors what he believed to be unsafe and dangerous working conditions, but management took no action, the suit says.

Shortly after arriving at work April 9, 2012, he was directed by a supervisor to “weld the seams of a newly installed hopper that released fish products into a single screw conveyor at its base.” The supervisor also assigned a safety watchperson.

“This new ‘safety’ watchperson was not the same watchperson Christopher partnered with normally,” the complaint says. “At the time Christopher began his work, the single screw conveyor equipment remained energized [...]

By |April 11th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Wrongful death suit filed against Moss Point plant|