US, Canadian Judges Coordinate Railroad Bankruptcy

The adoption of cross-border protocols by judges in Canada and the U.S. on Wednesday will allow the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway bankruptcy to move forward so that the victims of the Lac-Megantic train disaster may receive compensation as quickly as possible, the trustee assigned to oversee the case said, Bangor Daily News reported. “The U.S. case and the Canadian case are being administered primarily for the victims,” Robert Keach, a Portland lawyer who was appointed Aug. 22 to serve as trustee during the bankruptcy proceeding, said after a hearing in Bangor. “Wrongful death litigants and any personal injury claims will be paid after any secured debt is paid,” Keach said. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Louis Kornreich in Bangor and a Superior Court justice in Sherbrooke, Quebec, on Wednesday adopted in separate hearings the Cross-border Insolvency Protocol in order “to enhance coordination and harmonization” of the cases. The courts will be able to talk to each other and hold joint hearings, Keach said. Kornreich also granted motions that will allow the Hermon-based railroad to continue operating and paying employees’ salaries and benefits using a $6 million line of credit provided by Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Co., based in Ohio. Read more.