Family of Glasgow bin lorry crash victim sue Council

Jacqueline Morton, 51, was one of six people who died when the refuse lorry, driven by Harry Clarke, lost control in Glasgow city centre in December 2014.
Jacqueline Morton, 51, was one of six people who died when the refuse lorry, driven by Harry Clarke, lost control in Glasgow city centre in December 2014.
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The family of one of the Glasgow bin lorry crash victims are suing for compensation.

Jacqueline Morton, 51, was one of six people who died when the refuse lorry, driven by Harry Clarke, lost control in Glasgow city centre in December 2014.

Harry Clarke, who was driving a bin lorry when it crashed killing six people. Picture:  Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Harry Clarke, who was driving a bin lorry when it crashed killing six people. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Her sons Adam and Scott and other family members are suing Glasgow City Council, which employed Mr Clarke, over the incident.

The council does not intend to contest the action, which will be settled by its insurers with a settlement already agreed.

A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) heard Mr Clarke had a history of health issues but had not disclosed his medical background to his employers or the DVLA.

Sheriff John Beckett QC, who chaired the FAI, ruled the crash might have been avoided if Mr Clarke had told the truth about his medical history.

As well as Ms Morton, Jack and Lorraine Sweeney, aged 68 and 69, their granddaughter Erin McQuade, 18, Stephenie Tait, 29, and Gillian Ewing, 52, died in the incident.

Legal firm Digby Brown has raised the action on behalf of Ms Morton’s family at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

A spokesman said: “As this is an ongoing matter before the court, it would be inappropriate to comment at this time.”

The claims are made against the council on the basis of “vicarious liability”, which refers to a situation where someone is held responsible for the actions or omissions of another person.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “The council’s insurers are working to settle claims. Our thoughts remain with bereaved families and those who were injured.”

The council’s insurers are dealing with a number of claims from families and individuals and are working with their various legal representatives to settle them.

Mr Clarke was not prosecuted over the crash, with the Crown Office insisting there was insufficient evidence to raise criminal proceedings.

In a rare legal move, relatives of three crash victims sought permission from senior judges to bring charges against him in a private prosecution.

However, judges at the Appeal Court in Edinburgh ruled in November last year the family could not launch a private prosecution.

Last month, Mr Clarke admitted culpable and reckless driving in a separate incident just nine months after the tragedy, despite his licence having been revoked for medical reasons.

He is due to be sentenced later this month at Glasgow Sheriff Court.