Cheques come in for residents in Ville-Marie construction noise lawsuit

CTV Montreal
Published Tuesday, March 26, 2019 2:04PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 26, 2019 2:05PM EDT

It’s taken 18 years, but people living in the shadow of the Ville-Marie Expressway have finally received their long-awaited payout.

Some 1,200 people who were part of a class-action suit over excessive construction noise have each received about $2,900 as part of the $3.5 million settlement.

The construction on the Ville-Marie took place between 1998 and 2000, and during that time those living near the highway endured the nearly constant sound of jackhammers and other construction equipment at all hours of the day and night.

The battle for compensation took nearly 20 years to resolve, thanks to the tireless efforts of Peter Krantz, a resident who lives on St-Antoine St. and Atwater Ave.

“Imagine getting a jet engine put in your backyard, and that engine gets turned on, and it’s running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s what it was basically,” he said in an interview with CTV last year.

Krantz succeeded in having the City of Westmount install a decibel meter and used the readings as evidence in the lawsuit against the Quebec government and the construction firms.

The case was settled last year.

Though the ultimate payout is not a lot of money, Krantz said Tuesday that it’s still a great victory and he’s proud that thanks to the lawsuit, construction behaviour has changed.

“I made the minister aware or become responsible for all sounds emitting from the highway. That’s when they realized what they were doing,” he said. “Now they’re covering their rear ends, and they make sure there’s no problem. There’s a committee… and also you have a place to call in 24 hours a day. They’re taking sound measurements all the time.”

Krantz said his lawsuit also resulted in more awareness about the need for sound barriers.