The City of Ottawa and its insurers are accepting civil responsibility for a tragic bus crash, which killed three people and injured many others at Westboro Station nearly one year ago.
City Solicitor David White said in a memo Tuesday, making the formal admission officially sets aside any deliberation regarding the legal responsibility for compensation. Essentially, it means reducing the burden of additional legal proceedings on the victims of the January 11, 2019, incident.
The city plans to focus on determining what compensation is appropriate for the victims of the collision.
White wrote, "The City's priority has been to ensure they are treated fairly, reasonably, and with compassion."
Thirteen lawsuits have been filed against the city by Westboro bus crash victims and their families. One of the claims is a class action suit, seeking to act for all passengers and individuals who were on the Westboro platform the day of the incident. The city has received another eighteen notices on behalf of passengers, advising that a claim will be made.
White said the City of Ottawa began making advance payments to victims and their families within a few weeks of the incident. Those payments totalled approximately $3.5-million.
He added, "The amount of each claim still needs to be verified and quantified as part of the litigation process. This work is ongoing and will continue into the new year, when it is anticipated that some of the individual claims will be settled."
The OC Transpo driver, who was at the wheel of the double-decker bus during the collision, is set to face a trial in March. White said the court outcome will not have any bearing on the compensation process between the city and the crash victims and their families.