LRT riders consider class-action lawsuit against city, OC Transpo
OTTAWA - CTV News has learned riders are considering a class-action lawsuit against the city amid LRT frustration.
"It's just been an absolute nightmare," said Leanne Selevich.
"I'm at a loss for words."
In an exclusive interview with CTV Ottawa reporter Christina Succi, Selevich says it feels like riders have been left with no other choice.
"We don't know if its going to be running if it's going to be late," said Selevich.
"We can't get to work, pick-up kids from daycare, we can't get to interviews."
Selevich is just one rider considering the lawsuit. She says three local law firms have shown interest.
"The response I’m getting are that there are potentially merits to this," said Selevich.
"Most of us have paid this out of pocket expense were kind of stuck saying how are we going to recoup this, as a last resort you inevitably look to the courts for compensation."
According to Selevich, the firms are doing preliminary and background research to see what steps could be taken in respect to a possible civil suit.
CTV News Ottawa spoke to one class-action lawyer that class-action lawsuits can be complicated says the big question is proving there have been significant damages.
Some riders tell CTV News Ottawa they would be on board with filing a class-action law suit.
"I'm totally on board and I'll be keeping all my receipts," said Diane Larabie.
"We ended up order an Uber at a cost of 56 dollars, in addition to what I'm already paying for the fare."
Larabie says there have been more than just financial damages incurred.
"I was still anxious my stomach was still in knots and I’ve been carrying this every day to and from work," said Larabie.
"I shouldn't have to live like this."
When asked about a potential class-action lawsuit, Mayor Jim Watson apologizes to riders in distress but says staff is focused on fixing the LRT.
"A fault with the system does not merit an automatic reimbursement," said Watson.
"Our preoccupation is not on hypothetical lawsuits, it's about getting the trains running reliably."
Meanwhile, Selevich says while it's still early, the city needs to take riders' concerns seriously.
"I think we've been very patient."