Objections raised to Quebec committee role
MONTREAL - The families of several victims of the deadly rail crash in Lac Megantic are opposing a Quebec committee's quest for official standing at MMA's bankruptcy proceedings in the United States.
The estates of 18 victims of the July 6 derailment and explosion told a U.S. court in Maine that they object to the Quebec group's efforts to be appointed as an official creditors' committee to represent the provincial government, the municipality and some wrongful death and personal injury claimants, along with those that sustained property damages.
Objections have also been filed from various other parties, including the court-appointed trustee overseeing Montreal Maine & Atlantic's bankruptcy.
The Quebec government has appointed Luc Despins, a bankruptcy specialist with standing in New York state, to make representations on behalf of the informal creditors' committee. In his motion, he urged the overseeing judge to recognize the committee that represents creditors with the "largest claims" against the railway and the "entire spectrum" of victims.
Trustee Robert Keach says the appointment is unnecessary because he represents the interests of all creditors, including the victims of the derailment and those who filed class-action suits in Illinois. He adds that recognizing the committee would increase costs and "sap what limited resources of the debtor exist."
Objecting family members say competing rights and priorities of the varying classes of claimants in the Quebec committee would result in "irreconcilable conflicts precluding adequate representation of any of the committee's constituents."