Lam family planning suit in roundabout collision
Published Thursday, October 27, 2011 6:08PM EDT
The family of Cassi Lam, who was seriously injured after being struck by a Grand River Transit bus in the roundabout at Homer Watson Boulevard and Block Line Road nearly three weeks ago, is planning a lawsuit.
The City of Kitchener, Region of Waterloo and Grand River Transit Authority are all named in a letter of intent from the firm Thomson Rogers Lawyers.
The driver of the bus is also expected to be included. He has already been charged with careless driving.
Lawyer David MacDonald represents the Lam family and says "Her skull striking the front window of the bus, breaking it, has caused severe brain injury to her, significant scarring to this young model's beautiful face. She's also suffered a fractured tibia and fibula of her leg."
The 16-year-old now allegedly requires 24 hour care as a result of her injuries.
The family is seeking an unspecified amount in damages, though MacDonald says it could be in the tens of millions of dollars.
The letter claims negligence on the part of the driver as well as in the planning of the roundabout, "This patently unsafe traffic circle has been built with tax dollars from local citizens without taking appropriate safeguards to ensure pedestrians and traffic would be able to safely use the intersection."
It also demands the city and region take steps to improve safety at the roundabout.
Public pressure has already led to some alterations being made at the roundabout. They were approved at a regional council meeting Wednesday night.
They include changing signs from 'yield to pedestrians' to 'stop for pedestrians' and reducing the speed limit on Homer Watson Boulevard in the area of the roundabout to 50 kilometres per hour.
More changes are expected to be made after further assessement.
But MacDonald says "We suggest that it's certainly not sufficient to keep the residents of Kitchener safe…We need a full inquiry by a city which late in the day is making some backward looking changes, which are not going to have the effect of preventing children from being injured, probably seriously."
He is calling on politicians to take further action quickly, before someone else is hurt, or worse, saying further legal action could follow if that occurs.
The city and region acknowledge they have received the letter but are not commenting on the allegations.