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Greyhound passenger lawsuit in the works

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The lawyer for the family of the man slain on a Greyhound bus says a lawsuit is in the works for passengers on the vehicle who witnessed the horrific slaying.

Lawyer Jay Prober said he is just weeks away from filing a statement of claim seeking financial compensation for the trauma suffered by the three dozen passengers on board the bus in which Tim McLean was stabbed and beheaded by Vince Li.

 

"The damages they sustained, the emotional suffering and trauma, will vary with each individual," he said.

One couple who was on the bus received six counselling sessions paid for by Greyhound as well as $450 in compensation for destroyed possession, Prober said -- compensation he described as "a pittance."

"They clearly need to continue with counselling," he said.

McLean, 22, was stabbed to death and mutilated by Li on a Greyhound bus near Portage la Prairie last July.

On Thursday, a Court of Queen's Bench justice declared that Li was not criminally responsible for the crime. 

Li will be housed in a psychiatric facility instead of a prison and his status will be reviewed annually by the Criminal Code Review Board who will determine when, or if, he has been sufficiently treated and no longer poses a risk to society.

Prober said he expects other passengers on the bus will join the lawsuit once it launches.

As for the lawsuit launched by McLean's family, Prober said now that the Li trial is completed -- with no sign of appeal -- the civil matter can proceed.

"The McLean lawsuit will be full steam ahead now," he said. "But hopefully Greyhound will do the right thing and step up to the plate and settle this."

Prober is also hoping the federal government agrees to compensate the family.

"The federal government is responsible, through the constitution, for the safety of people travelling on buses between provinces ... the federal government knows or should have known about other violent incidents on buses and put proper resources in for safety.

"They do it for airlines."

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

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