OC Transpo crash victim suing city, driver, for $6.5 million

An Ottawa woman who was injured in the OC Transpo bus crash at Westboro station has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit.

Lynn Ellis, whose leg was injured in the crash that left three people dead, is suing the city, province and bus driver for nearly $6.5 million.

Ellis, a public servant, and her husband Martin Fischer are named as plaintiffs in the suit, which was filed in court Tuesday.

Ellis was sitting near the front of the double-deck bus on Jan. 11, beside friend Anja Van Beek. Van Beek was one of three passengers killed when the bus crashed into the shelter at Westboro Station.

The statement of claim says Ellis was riding the bus travelling westbound near Tunney's Pastrue when the driver, Aissatou Diallo, 'suddenly, negligently, and without warning', lost control of the bus and crashed into the Westboro Transit Station shelter. Ellis was then thrown from her seat onto the upper aisle while her right leg was pinned. The suit goes also says Ellis' right leg sustained severe orthopedic injuries which will keep her from ever walking properly again, as well psychological trauma from watching her friend Van Beek die in the crash.

The claim states Eliis has post-traumatic stress disorder and suffers from nervous shock.

Ellis is represented by Ottawa lawyer Derek Nicholson of Beament Hebert Nicholson LLP.

"She had a pretty horrific set of injuries," said Nicholson in an interview with CTV Wednesday.

"She had sort of a burning injury and it required skin grafting and she also has badly broken bones in her legs, she probably will have a great deal of difficulty walking for a long period of time and we don't know what her prognosis will be."

Nicholson is also representing another injured passenger of the Westboro bus crash, Gwen Lambert. Lambert is suing for nearly $6.4 million.

The claim for Ellis says Diallo is responsible because she operated the bus in a reckless manner and at excessive speed, and the city is liable for Diallo's alleged inadequate training and for the design of the Transitway. The suit also names the province as a defendent, claiming it failed to require public transit to have seatbelts.

The suit seeks damages and compensation for pain and suffering as well as the future costs of care and lost income.

The City of Ottawa has been making interim payments to the most serious injured passengers from the crash, but declined to comment to CTV, saying the matter is before the courts.

"The city and the insurers have stepped up to the plate," said Nicholson. .

"They've taken a very positive attitude to helping these people, they're not trying to delay it."

Both Lambert and Ellis remain in hospital.

Ottawa Police continue their investigation into the crash.