Stephanie Knox has lodged a claim for damages against a Donegal family who lost five members when their car slipped into the pier.
Derry native Knox was present on the pier when the tragedy occurred. Her ex-partner Davitt Walsh immediately jumped into the water to help, managing to save a four-month-old baby from the sinking vehicle.
Sean McGrotty (49), his sons Mark (12) and Evan (8), his mother-in-law Ruth Daniels (59) and her daughter Jodie-Lee (14), died when the SUV vehicle they were traveling in slid on algae and slipped into the water at Lough Swilly on March 20, 2016.
Walsh only managed to rescue baby Rioghnach Ann McGrotty from the car, swimming to the pier with the baby and handing her to Knox before returning and attempting to save the others.
A post-mortem found that McGrotty had consumed three times more than the legal drink-driving limit.
Knox, a cardiac physiologist, has lodged damage claims claiming she is suffering with PTSD "ever since that day".
Noel McGrotty (86) father of Sean claims he received a letter on behalf of Knox, on the eve of the second anniversary of the tragedy.
Knox was at the receiving end of major backlash on social media. She hit back on her personal Facebook account, explaining she did not know that a letter would be sent to the man.
"Not once was I told I was claiming against the family. I had just always thought it would of been the same as Immediate family which was the council because the pier that night was full of algae or the insurance never in my life did I think it would be coming from the family and I was never told it was coming from them. I know a letter was sent to them recently but I have still not seen this letter to date. I have been to see my solicitor to clear things as make sure that I was not claiming from an “86 year old man or the family “ and they had told me that I wasn’t I was maybe getting compensation for the traumatic event from either council or the insurance company. I am also not getting compensated for my time off work as I was off on annual leave," she wrote.
Knox echoed this sentiment in an exclusive interview with Independent.ie, in which she stated that she "didn't realise the estate of the deceased family would be included in proceedings."
She says she believed that only Donegal County Council and the insurance would be recipients in her claim.
Knox is suing for loss of earnings and other matters.
I’m under so much stress and heartache and I would love it to just blow over,” Knox she told the outlet.
Sister of Stephanie Knox, who it was reported was lodging damages claim against Buncrana Pier tragedy families, says story printed is untrue pic.twitter.com/CmpHziaeJR— Barry Whyte (@BarryWhyte85) March 26, 2018
“I knew there was a claim being made against the council and the insurance company...I know what they’re [the family] going through is hard.
"I've been suffering with PTSD ever since that day. It took me a long time to get help because I was afraid to talk about the accident. I just wanted to hide it. I'm on medication and everything. This has just been a horrible nightmare."
Her solicitors declined to issue a comment on the matter.