Sat, October 2, 2004
A mistake made as a Good Samaritan could prove very costly for Brian Appleby, the city worker who stopped to help the Appuhamy family on the highway. 'STAY PUT'
An $11 million lawsuit filed on behalf of the family yesterday names not only the City of Ottawa, OC Transpo and the driver at the wheel of the crash bus but also Appleby.
"He stopped to help and he told them to stay put," said Russ Molot, the lawyer representing Jude and Kanchana Appuhamy and Chamin's grandparents.
"Mr. Appuhamy wanted to move the car and Mr. Appleby said he would be safe in the car and everybody should simply remain in the car and that would be fine."
Molot said the family was hesitant to sue Appleby but were forced to and hope he understands it's not personal.
"He did the right thing by stopping to help. He just made a mistake," Molot said. "I really honestly hope that Mr. Appleby doesn't internalize all of this and take it to heart ... The Appuhamys, they just think the world of Mr. Appleby and they only wish him the best. Sometimes parents have to sue children and children have to sue parents in insurance matters."
The Appuhamys' statement of claim makes a number of unproven allegations, including that Lawrence Burt operated the bus without due care, allowed himself to be distracted, was impaired and failed to take necessary steps to avoid the deadly accident.
"The statement of claim says that in our view the City of Ottawa, its employees were negligent and caused harm to the Appuhamys," Molot said.