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Bus Death Results in San Francisco Transit Lawsuit

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

In April of last year a 49-year old San Francisco man was killed in a bus accident by a Muni bus while crossing Mission Street. While all drivers are responsible for driving safely to protect the safety of other drivers and pedestrians, when a person is driving a shuttle or city bus additional responsibilities and regulations may apply.

The 49-year-old is survived by his husband. The husband has now filed a civil lawsuit in San Francisco's Superior Court against the Muni transit system for negligence and for the wrongful death of his husband.

The civil complaint alleges that the driver of the 14-Mission bus, Kimberly Faye Johnson, was temporarily distracted as she removed the wrapper from a candy bar while piloting the moving bus down the street. Upon seeing the 49-year-old man crossing the street, the complaint further alleges that the bus driver pushed down the accelerator pedal of the bus instead of the brake pedal causing it to lurch forward.

The speeding bus then hit the San Francisco man, who was pinned against a second Muni bus and that resulted in his death.

Generally in a traffic death if the victim believes that the crash was a result of the other driver's negligence they may be able to bring a lawsuit against them personally. When the other, potentially negligent, driver is operating a bus or other vehicle as part of their employment, the employer may also be liable if they failed to properly train the driver or maintain the vehicle.

The victim of the fatal bus accident was an attorney and a social activist.

Source: San Francisco Examiner "Husband of man killed by Muni bus files wrongful-dHusband of man killed by Muni bus files wrongful-death lawsuit" Will Reisman, May 24, 2011