Canadian Consulting Engineer

No lawsuits for Laval overpass collapse

Three years after the collapse of the concrete overpass in Laval, Quebec, surviving victims and relatives of t...

October 5, 2009   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Three years after the collapse of the concrete overpass in Laval, Quebec, surviving victims and relatives of the five people killed have agreed to drop their plans to sue the province for compensation. They had until last week to file a civil lawsuit against the Quebec government.

The collapse of the 1970s era overpass on Highway 19 was attributed to a chain of causes by the Johnson Commission that looked into the disaster. The commission’s report prompted an overhaul of how the province manages its highway infrastructure.

Quebec’s automobile insurance board, the SAAQ, reported paid out $1.5 million to victims and families of the collapse on condition that they not file lawsuits. The highest compensation paid to a victim was $300,000 to a 10-year old boy whose parents were both killed by the falling overpass.

Some have questioned why the tragedy was treated as a traffic accident, which limited the government’s liability and allowed the victims to be compensated by the province’s no-fault automobile insurance board.


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