Montreal transit strike suit approved
A Quebec judge has cleared the way for a class action lawsuit seeking damages after a four-day Montreal public transit strike in 2007.
The lawsuit targets Montreal's Transit Commission (STM) and could eventually involve more than 300,000 pass holders.
On Tuesday, Quebec Superior Court authorized Montreal resident Lucie Ladouceur to represent her fellow commuters in the lawsuit.
She has been granted permission to seek compensation for a transit workers strike nearly three years ago that paralyzed public transportation on the island.
In May 2007, transit workers walked off the job for four weekdays to protest contract talks.
Employees were ordered to provide service during morning and afternoon rush hours, and then again late at night, as part of Quebec's essential service laws.
But that service wasn't sufficient for Ladouceur.
"During that period of time, she suffered some damages, and was not able to use the services, as they were supposed to be there" because of long lineups and overcrowding, said Daniel Belleau, a Montreal lawyer representing Ladouceur.
After the strike, the STM offered $3.50 in compensation for commuters with a monthly metro pass.
Ladouceur is asking for $8.39 per pass holder, in addition to $50 per person for stress and anxiety.
Belleau estimates as many as 335,000 people could be eligible for the class action that would seek an estimated $19 million.
Both parties now have to negotiate. The case could take up to two years to be resolved.