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Class action lawsuit over Fort McMurray blast certified against Atco

Last Updated May 24, 2019 at 7:06 pm MST

A class-action lawsuit is going ahead against a natural gas company in connection with an explosion that damaged several homes in Dickensfield after the 2016 wildfire.

Higgerty Law and co-counsel James H. Brown and Associates said in a release that a judge has certified the suit against Atco Gas and Pipelines Ltd.

The law firms say the blast took place shortly after the company reinstated the gas supply in the Dickensfield neighbourhood.

At that time, though, when residents were still not allowed to return.

The 547 affected properties were within a half-kilometre radius of the explosion and owners, occupants and insurers are listed as class members.

Higgerty Law previously said the suit would seek damages of $10 million.

Since they first filed, principal counsel Pat Higgerty said that number increased.

“Since then, we’ve come to the view that the number of residences and the dollar amount to their claim are larger.”

Higgerty says their second statement of claim seeks $20 million.

However, that number could rise as more people come forward.

In addition to property damages, the firms say occupants have also incurred financial losses and suffered serious mental distress.