Lam family files $17M lawsuit in roundabout collision
Published Monday, July 16, 2012 1:13PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, July 16, 2012 5:58PM EDT
The family of 16-year-old Cassi Lam, who was seriously injured after being struck by a Grand River Transit bus, has filed a $17.3 million lawsuit.
A statement of claim was issued to the defendants, the Region of Waterloo, City of Kitchener, Grand River Transit and the bus driver involved on June 21.
Lam was walking through the crosswalk at the roundabout at Homer Watson Boulevard and Block Line Road when she was struck in October 2011.
The driver, Rafael Quintanilla, was charged with careless driving just weeks after the crash and his trial is set to begin in November.
Meanwhile the family is seeking $17 million in damages for Lam and $100,000 each for her mother, father and brother, for items like loss of wages while assisting in her recovery.
Stacey Stevens, the family’s lawyer, says “If they had to take any time off of work, so there’d be a claim for loss of income. If they’ve provided and nursing services to Cassi, that would form all part of the claim.”
According to the filing, Lam suffered “a severe head injury, a fractured right fibula, deranged liver function, intraperitonel hemorrhage and facial and lower extremity deformities and lacerations.”
The lawsuit claims the injuries have resulted in permanent physical, mental and psychological damage.
Stevens says it includes “Depression, anxiety over what’s happened as well, and her inability to continue living the life she had before the accident.”
Before the crash her family says Lam was an aspiring actress who danced, modelled and was an active community volunteer.
The case is a civil matter, so the driver and Grand River Transit will likely be defended by the same legal team representing the Region of Waterloo.
No one from the region or the City of Kitchener was made available to comment, but statements were provided to CTV News.
The region says “The Region is aware of the statement of claim. The matter is being handled by the Region’s insurers who will be providing full answer and defence to the lawsuit and as the matter is before the courts it is inappropriate to comment further.”
The City of Kitchener says “since this is the subject of a potential litigation it is inappropriate for the City to comment.”
It could take from three to five years before the lawsuit goes to trial.