Beament Hebert Nicholson has now been retained to represent victims of the January 11, 2019 bus accident in Ottawa. An action has now commenced against the City of Ottawa, OC Transpo and the Province of Ontario. In addition the claims being made against the City of Ottawa and OC Transpo relating to the negligence of their bus driver we have also commenced an action against the Province for failure to require seatbelts on public buses. This cause of action is new and has yet to be tested. The obvious need for such seatbelts has been underscored by the announcement made on 21st of January, 2019 by Transport Minister Mark Garneau to review the possibility of outfitting school buses with seatbelts. The question really becomes why would these belts not be as important for the general public.
The announcement of Mark Garneau relates to the Fifth Estate expose on CBC which exposed serious flaws in the 1984 Transport Canada study that claimed that children in buses were safer without seatbelts. In our view that defies logic. Seatbelts have long been accepted to reduce the risks of serious injury and serious accidents.