A $23 million settlement for people affected by the Sunrise propane explosion six years ago — which killed one man and displaced thousands of others — was granted in court today.

It’s been six years since the explosions at the fuel depot at 62 Murray Rd., in the Keele Street and Wilson Avenue area in August 2008 were heard around the city.

The explosion and fire occurred on Aug. 10, 2008, killing Sunrise employee Parminder Saini. Firefighter Bob Leek suffered a fatal heart attack while battling the massive fire that followed. Homes, schools and businesses were severely damaged.

“Our home felt like it had been hit by a train,” said Lynda Ferderico.

“We ran outside and it just looked like a nuclear explosion with debris coming down on us.”

The class-action lawsuit that was filed stipulated the area affected was bordered by Keele Street, Highway 401, Sheppard Avenue and Dufferin Street.

The Federicos had thought they were also part of the lawsuit, but learned when the settlement was announced in July, that they would not be included because their home was just outside the borders – meaning they would no longer be eligible for the $30,000 they believed they too are owed.

“I don't know who decided this but they totally failed” Nicola Federico said.

Settlement terms

The defendants will pay $23,345,000 towards all claims. There will be approximately $8 million set aside for area residents and another $8 million for insurance companies while the bulk of the leftover money being allocated towards lawyers and legal costs.

  • Each resident who was displaced from their home will receive $200 for the first day outside their home and $50 per day thereafter. 
  • People injured in the blast and fire will get anywhere from $500 to $50,000, depending on the severity of the injury.
  • All insurance deductibles will be paid for claimants, and uninsured property damage can be claimed as well.
  • Members of the class action can claim for lost employment or business during the period after the blast.

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will also be partially compensated for health-care services provided as a result of the blast. 

Lawyers hope to have all of the matters settled within the next six months to a year. 

As for people like the Federicos and those with other complicated claims, they will have to seek outside counsel.