(Quebec) A second class action was authorized by the Superior Court of Quebec against Stevedoring Company Ltd. and the Port of Québec on episodes of red dust occurred in lower town since 2010.
Judge Etienne Parent Tuesday formally authorized the exercise of this second class action filed by the citizen spouse Veronica Lalande and Louis Duchesne. These will be the holders of record and account for all eligible citizens to appeal.
The other request covers much broader than the first, which was limited only to the episode of red dust – iron oxide – 25 October 2012.
Ms. Lalande, behind the Vigilance Committee port of Quebec, was this time all metal fumes, the nickel dust beyond acceptable levels recorded since 31 October 2010.
“All those owners or residents since October 31, 2010 of the Borough of La Cité-Limoilou […] in defined areas” by the appeals can subscribe.
This includes residents of Vieux-Limoilou living south of the 18th Street, the Saint-Roch district, between the Saint-Charles River and boulevard Charest, and portions of the Blessed Sacrament districts, Saint-Sauveur and Maizerets.
If class members are gaining in court, the applicants’ claims provide for a payment of up to $ 1,000 per year for each member of the prosecution. This amount represents claims in damages for trouble and inconvenience and punitive damages.
From the same opinion of the judge, these claims are based on losses that “the facts may claim.” Moreover, he adds that “the demonstration is made that the presence of nickel, measured at various sampling points on a extended period of time, significantly exceeds the regulatory standards.”
The request also asked for individual claims for damages to health and for property losses that could have been members of the appeal. On this point, the judge makes several reservations, noting that “no facts alleged in the petition does not seem [to] justify”. Such damage can still be claimed.
Veronica Lalande got another significant gain. If the demonstration is made qu’Arrimage Quebec and Port have responsibilities to assume, the court may issue an injunction forcing the two sides continued to take permanent measures to stop dust emissions.
The magistrate said that the request is legitimate under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. “Everyone has the right, to the extent and according to the standards set by law, to live in a healthful environment of biodiversity”, states the document.
Quebec Stevedoring feared that the first class action of nearly 50,000 citizens. The company estimated that the amount to pay in case of defeat in court would be around the $ 150 million. The first request provides for compensation of $ 3,000 per head pipe.
“This is a very bittersweet victory”
Citizen Old Limoilou behind the legal action taken against the Port of Quebec and Quebec Stevedoring, Veronica Lalande see the authorization of a second class action as a great victory.
“This is a victory because it is far from clear, it takes a lot of time and energy,” she said Tuesday, just hours after the judge’s decision was rendered.
“At the same time, it is a very bittersweet victory, because I would have preferred not to have it,” she has qualified. “The Port of Québec have been put in place in 1980, when he already knew, mechanisms that would have meant that I would have never lived that situation.”
Beyond compensation, Veronica Lalande is especially pleased with the permission of the injunction, which was rejected in the first class action. This is the injunction that will force the port to take steps to remedy the red dust of fumes in the event of court defeat. “This is the most important in today’s decision. All the people involved always said that if this process can then make the situation definitively stop, go to the end. ”
Now that the class action is authorized, the resident Limoilou Louis Duchesne and his spouse engage in a long process in court. Besides, there are still no tangible progress in the first action, authorized in October 2014.
But the length of the legal process does not frighten Veronica Lalande. “There are three years old, I received a call from Anick Métivier, the representative of the Port of Quebec, where he was trying to reassure me gently explaining that the cloud of red dust was an isolated incident. I told him that now that I had found, I do not lâcherais as the Port not become corporate citizen it should always have been and we deserve as a city. Three years later, it’s still my goal. ”
Aware that two class actions exert financial pressure on the Port, citizen hopes that both parties eventually succeed in reaching an amicable settlement rather than going through the process. Except as Port refuse to acknowledge its responsibility and take the necessary action, Veronica Lalande will not retreat. “Me, I left for 30 years, but that does not bother me. Each step is important and this kind of approach is necessary in a democratic society. ”