Richelieu flood victims seek another $200M in damages

Lawyers representing 3,000 homeowners affected by the 2011 flooding in the Richelieu Valley are in court Tuesday seeking certification for a $200-million class-action suit against the provincial and federal governments.

Lawyers representing 3,000 homeowners in court seeking certification to proceed with class-action suit

Canadian soldiers arrive to help flood victims in Saint-Blaise-sur-Richelieu, Que., on May 5, 2011. (Ryan Remiorz/CP)

Lawyers representing 3,000 homeowners affected by the 2011 flooding in the Richelieu Valley are in court today seeking certification for a $200-million class-action suit against the provincial and federal governments.

The homeowners say they were not compensated adequately for their losses resulting from the massive flood, which lasted several weeks and led to the demolition of more than 100 damaged homes.

The 3,000 affected homeowners received nearly $52 million afterwards, which was meant to compensate each victim for 80 per cent of their losses.

The new class-action lawsuit would provide each homeowner with another $67,000, primarily for moral and psychological damages.

The lawsuit contends that the provincial and federal governments were negligent because they knew about the risk of flooding back in 1937 and did not follow through on a proposal at that time to deepen the river bed and lower water levels.

“If the work to avoid the floods had been done in 1937 and was done now we're not talking about the same levels of people who would be flooded. There probably wouldn't be any or very few who would actually be flooded,” said Gilles Gareau, one of the lawyers representing the homeowners.

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