Personal Injury

Settlement reached in 2013 Ottawa bus-train crash lawsuit

Driver error led to a fatal crash between a double-decker Ottawa city bus and a moving Via Rail train in 2013, Ottawa personal injury lawyer Howard Yegendorf tells CBC News.

"From the report, there was nothing wrong with the train, there was nothing wrong with the crossing, there was nothing wrong with the bus and there was no medical event for the driver. That leaves one irresistible inference and that was driver error," Yegendorf says, referring to an earlier Transportation Safety Board report.

Yegendorf, with partner Najma Rashid, represented the family of 57-year-old Michael Bleakney, one of five killed in the September 2013 crash. An undisclosed settlement was reached ahead of the release of a December report from the Transportation Safety Board.

By late November, the City of Ottawa had paid out nearly $2 million to settle six lawsuits related to the fatal September 2013 crash between a double-decker OC Transpo bus and a moving Via Rail train in Barrhaven, according to a CBC report.

Another 30 lawsuits related to the crash remain unsettled.

Since the City of Ottawa hired Dave Woodard to drive the bus, Yegendorf tells the national broadcaster he believes the city is responsible.

"It seems to me, and it has always been my position, that it is the city and the city only at fault," says Yegendorf, partner with Howard Yegendorf & Associates.

Further coverage in Ottawa Sun Ottawa Citizen

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