NEWS

Lac Megantic Rail Disaster Victim Settlement Fund Approval Delayed By Judge

09/24/2015 02:13 EDT | Updated 09/24/2015 02:59 EDT

PORTLAND, Maine — Final approval of a $338 million US settlement for victims of the 2013 train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Que., has been delayed.

The delay is to provide time for the only party that's opposed to the fund to either join in the settlement or negotiate terms to withdraw its objection.

A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Thursday ordered the parties to reconvene Oct. 5, and the U.S. bankruptcy trustee is confident the settlement will be confirmed.

The settlement was the issue of negotiations with about two dozen companies.

The only party with potential liability that declined to participate is Canadian Pacific, which contends it wasn't treated fairly under the deal.

At a court hearing in Canada earlier this year, a lawyer for CP said the disaster did not involve the company's tracks, rail cars, products or employees.

Forty-seven people died in Lac Megantic, Quebec, when the runaway train with 72 oil tankers derailed on July 6, 2013.

A bankruptcy judge in Maine is set to rule on a $338 million US settlement fund for victims of the 2013 train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Que., that claimed 47 lives.

The U.S. bankruptcy trustee wants the judge to approve the plan today so money can begin flowing to those who were harmed by the disaster.

But several parties — including Canadian Pacific — are urging the judge to reject the deal.

A large swath of downtown Lac Megantic was destroyed when the runaway train with 72 oil tankers derailed on July 6, 2013.

The railroad contends it bears no responsibility and says the deal would hinder its ability to defend itself against lawsuits.

Bankruptcy trustee Robert Keach says CP is trying to hold up payments to provide leverage to negotiate a lower contribution.

At a court hearing in Canada earlier this year, a lawyer for CP said the disaster did not involve the company's tracks, rail cars, products or employees.

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