A JUDGE has set a date to examine claims that a bus company acted negligently in failing to provide Glasgow council staff with an accurate reference for bin lorry driver Harry Clarke.

Three people from Dumbarton – student Erin McQuade, 18, and her grandparents Jack Sweeney, 68, and Lorraine Sweeney, 69 – were among six people who died after they were struck by a bin lorry with Mr Clarke at the wheel in Glasgow city centre on December 22, 2014.

At a procedural hearing at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Thursday, judge Lord Ericht arranged for six days of hearings to take place in September 2021.

The proceedings will deal with allegations that that First Glasgow (No.1) Ltd acted negligently in its dealings with Glasgow City Council.

The action has been brought by Scotland’s largest local authority against the transport company. It is seeking a total £446,012 from the transport firm.

READ MORE: Judge in bin lorry crash civil hearing slams council for "extremely unsatisfactory" conduct

Lawyers for the council claim First Glasgow failed to disclose that Mr Clarke had lost consciousness while at the wheel of a bus in 2010.

The other people who died in the tragedy on the city's Queen Street were Stephanie Tait, Jacqueline Morton, 51, and 52-year-old Gillian Ewing.

Crown Office lawyers decided not to prosecute Clarke on the basis that he had a medical condition and there was no evidence to show he had broken the law.

The families of those who lost their lives after the incident tried to raise a private prosecution against Clarke.

They argued that Clarke had made “misrepresentations” about his medical history to the DVLA and to his employers.

READ MORE: Bin lorry tragedy driver Harry Clarke apologises to families as crash anniversary nears

However, senior judges didn’t allow the prosecution to proceed.

Glasgow City Council also suffered a setback in its action against First Glasgow after another hearing last year at the Court of Session.

Its legal team sought to recover a total of £903,714.40 from First Glasgow.

In those proceedings, the council’s lawyers claimed the alleged failure to disclose the information about Mr Clarke passing out meant the firm breached a duty of care to the dead pedestrians.

However, Lord Ericht ruled against the local authority.

READ MORE: Judges reject Dumbarton family's private prosecution bid against Glasgow bin lorry tragedy driver

The hearing on Thursday came just one month after the original proof had to be postponed due to what Lord Ericht described as the “extremely unsatisfactory” conduct of Glasgow City Council’s legal team.

The judge spoke after lawyers for Glasgow City Council attempted to lodge a document with officials which they believed to support their case.

Lawyers for First Glasgow said the council’s request to lodge the document breached court rules and placed them at a disadvantage.

Lord Ericht agreed to postpone the case but criticised Glasgow City Council for their actions and ordered the local authority to pay punitive legal costs to First Glasgow.

On Thursday, the judge told lawyers that the case would begin on September 28.

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