A Quebec Superior Court has approved a $3.5-million settlement over repair work on the Ville-Marie-Expressway two decades ago.
Residents who were exposed to excessive noise levels resulting from construction on the expressway from mid-1998 to 2000 are entitled to file a claim.
At a press conference Tuesday, Peter Krantz, the main plaintiff in the case against the Quebec attorney general and three construction companies involved in the project, said the noise was unbearable as crews worked 24 hours a day.
“At night, I was trying to sleep, and I couldn’t get to sleep because I had five jackhammers … but when they turned on the aqua demolition machine, I couldn’t hear the jackhammers,” he said.
“When I say I had a jet engine in my back yard, that’s about what it was,” Krantz said.
Anyone living within 350 metres south and 170 metres north of the Ville-Marie, between Guy Street and de Carillon Avenue is eligible.
The amount of compensation will vary according to the area of residence and the number of claimants who come forward.
A statement released by Trudel Johnston & Lespérance reads: “In one of the most affected zones, a family of two could receive a compensation of up to $5,560 if 15 per cent claim, or up to $3,460 if 25 per cent claim.”
Lawyers estimate between 15 and 35 per cent of those eligible will ultimately make a claim.
Krantz credits the lawsuit with raising awareness about disruptive noise levels coming from construction sites.
“The minister of transport (MTQ) is responsible for all the noise emitting from the autoroute. This class-action made the minister realize this, because before, they were treating us like animals” he said.
Krantz said the lawsuit has prompted the installation of permanent sound barriers along highways and temporary barriers in residential areas where construction work is ongoing but feels there’s still room for improvement, pointing to the Turcot Interchange as a case in point.
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