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Lawsuit over Lac-Megantic, Que., train derailment names more defendants

LAC-MEGANTIC, Que. – A motion to file a class-action lawsuit over the deadly train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Que., has been amended to include more defendants, including the New Brunswick refinery where the oil aboard the train was destined to go.

A team of lawyers leading the lawsuit said in a news release Thursday that the motion has been changed to include Irving Oil, which runs the refinery in Saint John, N.B., World Fuel Services and its subsidiary, Dakota Plains Holdings.

The train was carrying crude oil sold by Dakota Plains Holdings at the time of the July 6 derailment.

The lawyers allege that the newly named defendants failed to ensure the highly flammable contents in the tankers were properly contained and safely transported.

A spokeswoman for Irving Oil said the company sent personnel to the crash site and provided firefighting foam within hours of the disaster.

“We did not own or control the crude oil or its transportation at any time,” Carolyn Van der Veen said in an email.

None of the allegations has been tested in court.

The team of lawyers said the motion was amended to indicate that the liability for the accident is allegedly spread across a broad network of corporations.

The motion filed Monday in Quebec Superior Court in Sherbrooke also names the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, company chairman Edward Burkhardt, president Robert Grindrod and train operator Tom Harding.