Now, the family of Tim McLean is suing Vince Weiguang Li, Greyhound, the government and the RCMP for what happened on that bus back in July. They feel that there should have been more security measures in place and The RCMP should have gone in and got him out sooner before he had such a chance to mutilate the body.
Ok, let’s break it down. I understand their wanting to sue Vince Weiguang Li, even though the idea of suing someone for killing someone always seemed alittle odd to me. But I guess, when you get down to it, what’s the difference between putting a dollar figure on someone’s life and deciding how many years in jail that life is worth? It’s still quantifying a life in some way. I don’t know how much luck they’ll have getting any money out of him, though.
I also understand them questioning why the RCMP didn’t get Li out of the bus sooner. But shouldn’t that be dealt with in an inquiry or something? Wouldn’t that be more effective?
But here’s where I get mad. They want to sue Greyhound and the government because they feel more safety measures need to be in place on greyhound buses. I understand people’s natural reaction when a tragedy happens. They want to look at it as something that could be prevented in the future. They don’t want to think that this was something utterly random, unexpected, and unforeseeable by a reasonable human being. If it’s preventable, it can be dealt with and someone can be blamed.
I ask two questions. How would you prevent something like this from happening again? Are you going to make everybody go through a security-screening similar to boarding a plane? How does that work when people get on the bus at non-station stops? Second, how often have their been murders, or even serious assaults, on greyhound? I cannot think of another incident. So, why would there be a need to make sweeping policy changes? If people were getting killed left and right on buses, that would be another thing. But they’re not.
I would never say that what happened wasn’t horrible. It was. It was horrible and unexplainable and scary and a terrible waste of a life. But does every horrible event need to have a corresponding lawsuit? Did a lawyer persuade them they should sue? Did s/he see an opportunity and decide to take it? If the family were the ones who decided they wanted to sue, independent of persuasion from a lawyer, why couldn’t the lawyer have been sensible enough to say this didn’t look like a good idea? Oh yeah, they never do, unless it looks like the client doesn’t have the money to pay them.
I hope that the McLean family gets the answers they want, as much as is possible. But I really don’t think those answers can come from a lawsuit. I also hope the lawsuit doesn’t succeed in changing Greyhound’s policies. One of the reasons I like the bus is because it’s so flexible and there aren’t so many restrictions as there are with flying. That, and it’s cheap. Making changes to increase security may ruin all of that.
Horrible stuff can happen to us anywhere, and it can happen despite our best efforts to be safe. All we can do is be reasonable, something this lawsuit is not.