The scene of a fatal crash involving a school bus that is now the subject of a lawsuit. The crash happened in June 2011 on Highway 97 near Summerland.

Accident victim unaware of lawsuit against school district

School district also in the dark about lawsuits over 2011 crash near Summerland that injured nine Penticton students

One of the people named as a plaintiff in lawsuits stemming from a fatal crash involving a school bus said he was unaware of the legal action first reported earlier this month in the Western News.

The B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria in May received separate notices of claim from both John Watt and Elaine Tanner, who were injured in the June 2011 crash near Summerland that killed a man and sent nine students to hospital.

Their claims list the estate of John Borba, who died when his car slid into the path of the school bus, plus the Okanagan Skaha School District and the bus driver as defendants. It also alleges negligence on the part of all three defendants and seeks an unspecified award for damages.

Watt on Thursday wrote in an email to the Western News that “some of this is news to me and Elaine,” because they were “not aware of any action” against the named defendants.

Both he and Tanner received medical treatment, and the car in which they were riding also suffered damage.

“Right after the accident and weeks later we tried to communicate with ICBC on numerous occasions trying to settle this matter ourselves, leaving voice mail messages unreturned and finding it difficult to talk and communicate with the adjuster at that time,” Watt said.

“We got so frustrated and fed up we finally sought legal advice. I am not a lawyer or a legal expert by no means so we are not sure of all the details legally and why these parties are even mentioned in any action. To our understanding it was just a legal claim against ICBC for damages.”

Watt said he and Tanner are upset that the three parties were named in the lawsuit and plan to discuss the matter further with their lawyer. He added that the story has stirred up painful memories for everyone involved and “looks like it sadly will continue.”

Ginny Manning, who chairs the board of the Okanagan Skaha School District, said she too was unaware of the lawsuits until hearing about them in the media.