North York Mirror
A class action lawsuit can proceed in the Sunrise Propane explosion that killed one person and displaced thousands in August 2008, an Ontario court justice said in a ruling Monday, July 23.
“The defendants do not dispute that a class action is the preferable procedure,” Justice Carolyn Horkins wrote in her decision. “I am satisfied that it is. This class proceeding will provide thousand(s) of class members with access to justice. If found liable, the defendants will be required to account for the harm they caused and this will promote behaviour in relation to the safe operation of a propane facility.”
The explosion on Murray Road on Aug. 10, 2008 killed Sunrise employee Parminder Singh Saini, 25, forced the evacuation of 12,500 residents and caused more than $25 million in damages. A Toronto firefighter, Bob Leek, died of a heart attack during the response.
The lawsuit named defendants Sunrise Propane Energy Group Inc., the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) and a number of suppliers to Sunrise.
The lawsuit affects residents living in an area bounded by Keele Street, Hwy. 401, Sheppard Avenue and Dufferin Street.
Sharon Strosberg of Sutts, Strosberg LLP, one of the lawyers with the eight firms involved in the lawsuit, said all affected residents are included in the suit unless they choose to opt out, for which they have 60 days to make a decision.
“Only then can we tell the number of people involved in the suit,” she said.
If successful, the amount residents will receive will vary, as defined by the damage or inconvenience incurred, she said.
“Some were out of their homes for an extended period of time, some were injured, some had substantial damage to their home,” Strosberg said. “If there is a message I can send out, it would be it’s essential to register for the suit. At the end of the day, the question of who’s responsible for the explosion will be answered.”
Affected residents can register to join the class action suit at www.sunrisepropaneclassaction.com
Counsel for Sunrise Propane and the TSSA did not respond to requests for comment by The Mirror’s deadline.