January 19, 2018: Railroad Employees Found Not Guilty in Lac-Megantic Trial

A jury in Canada handed down a not guilty verdict in favor of the three men who were on trial for their roles in the Lac-Megantic derailment that claimed 47 lives in 2013. Prosecutors felt Tom Harding, Richard Labrie, and Jean Demaitre could have done more to prevent the accident. Mr. Harding’s attorney, Tom Walsh, issued a statement following the verdict on behalf of his client who was too emotional to speak. “He always admitted his responsibility. His only claim was that the responsibility was not the equivalent of criminal negligence. He’s very marked by this experience and he will always feel a tremendous moral responsibility and he will never be able to rid himself of that feeling.”
As a result of the Lac-Megantic tragedy the regulations have tightened in the U.S. and Canada regarding how hazardous materials are handled by railroads. One of the biggest changes is the gradual phaseout of the single-hulled DOT 111 tank cars over the next decade. Prior to the Lac-Megantic derailment several warnings were issued regarding DOT-111 tank cars being too fragile to transport hazardous materials.

Jury Acquits Railroad Employees In Lac Megantic Fire Disaster