I read an interesting article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The Greater Regional Transit Authority (I assume this is the state of Ohio’s bus system) has settled a wrongful death case with the family of an elderly man who was killed when hit, while lawfully in the crosswalk, by an Authority bus. The settlement was $1.775 million.
Miguel Muniz, 66, died on October 3, 2008, after being struck by the bus on September 30, 2008. The driver was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide (the criminal charges were, later, withdrawn).
The bus was making a left turn at the time. Two interesting things about this ariticle that I thought were worth reporting here: 1. You will notice that the case settled in about seven months. That is remarkable for a case of that size. The family’s Attorney, Michael Saltzer, said that the Authority "handled things appropriately given the circumstances". It is nice to see a defendant admit that it was wrong, step up, and do the right thing in such a short period of time. 2. After the incident, the Authority started a training program called ‘Left Turn Blitz’, in which all 1200 or so of their drivers were ordered to pause two seconds and scan crosswalks and curbs before turning left.
The Authority may wish to offer a ‘refresher’ training course because the article reports that another left turn/crosswalk fatality happened on March 21 of this year in Berea, Ohio. Hopefully, the Authority will step up again and do the right thing. Meanwhile, Ohio InjuryBoard members: I suggest that you tell your family members and clients to watch out for buses in Ohio crosswalks.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.