Quebec City represents Quebec Port Authority in environmental class actions resulting from dust emissions associated with stevedoring operations

Canada | February 19, 2021

Client: Quebec Port Authority

Our Quebec City office is representing the Quebec Port Authority in two highly publicized environmental class actions filed on behalf of roughly 50,000 homeowners and residents of five Quebec City districts, who allege to have suffered nuisance resulting from dust emissions associated with co-defendant Quebec Stevedoring Limited’s stevedoring operations. Plaintiffs in both class actions argue that the Quebec Port Authority is liable for the faults committed by Quebec Stevedoring Limited in carrying out its stevedoring operations or, in the absence of any fault, for the nuisance caused to the class members by Quebec Stevedoring Limited. The Quebec Port Authority denies any liability in both files.

In the first class action, the hearing took place from October 15 to November 9, 2018, and judgment was rendered on February 5, 2019. The judgment limited the affected area and number of claimants and determined the amount of compensation to be paid by Quebec Stevedoring Limited. In the second class action, the certification hearing took place on May 25-26, 2015, and judgment was rendered on August 3, 2015. The judgment partially upheld the opposition put forth by the Quebec Port Authority and dismissed the conclusions pertaining to unsubstantiated claims such as loss in property value and bodily injury resulting from exposure to dust emissions. A hearing on the merits took place from September 16, 2019, to January 23, 2020, and judgment was rendered on March 4, 2020. The court dismissed the class action with legal costs. Plaintiffs appealed this decision before the Court of Appeal of Quebec.