High­way 13 class-ac­tion law­suit gets green light

Montreal Gazette - - CITY -

A Su­pe­rior Court judge has given the green light to a class-ac­tion suit af­ter hun­dreds of mo­torists were left stranded on High­way 13 dur­ing a snow­storm last March.

The law­suit launched by mo­torist Gilles Beauchamp, who was trapped on the high­way for seven hours be­gin­ning at 8 p.m. March 14, names the Que­bec gov­ern­ment and the city of Mon­treal as de­fen­dants.

The suit con­tends the prov­ince and city failed in their duty to prop­erly man­age the traf­fic jam, which was caused af­ter two trucks be­came stuck in the snow and ice and their driv­ers re­fused to be towed.

The suit is seek­ing $2,000 for each of the ap­prox­i­mately 500 mo­torists trapped on the high­way dur­ing the time it took to un­clog the thor­ough­fare amid a break­down in emer­gency ser­vices com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

In Que­bec City, Trans­port Min­is­ter An­dré Fortin said his com­ments on the case would be lim­ited be­cause it is be­fore the courts, but he said Que­bec has acted to cor­rect the prob­lem.

“We don’t ever want to see a sit­u­a­tion like what hap­pened on High­way 13 ever hap­pen again in Que­bec,” Fortin told re­porters. “That’s why we are putting mea­sures in place.

“I al­ready vis­ited twice the 24-7 traf­fic con­trol cen­tre in Mon­treal and in Que­bec City to make sure they have the right tools in place so a sit­u­a­tion like this does not hap­pen again.”

Fortin said ad­di­tional teams are be­ing put in place across Que­bec and Que­bec is now re­quir­ing any new con­trac­tor work­ing for the gov­ern­ment to equip it­self with GPS lo­ca­tors so of­fi­cials can track how many snow plow­ing trucks are on the road and their lo­ca­tion.


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