San Francisco Injury Lawyer News: City to Pay Millions For Cable Car Accidents?

01/20/2011 // San Francisco, CA, USA // Mary Alexander // Mary Alexander- Bay area accident attorney

San Francisco, CA (San Francisco Injury Lawyer News) — The city of San Francisco is expected to pay millions of dollars to compensate the victims of two separate cable car accidents that occurred in the last few years. In one case, San Francisco will likely disburse more than $2.1 million to settle claims filed in connection with a 2008 cable car accident. The proposed settlements will potentially compensate three passengers who suffered injuries in the July 13, 2008 cable car derailment. According to a Dec. 29, 2010 San Francisco Examiner report, another man who was forced to have his foot amputated after a December 2009 cable car accident rejected a $2.75 million proposed settlement, seeking a trial by jury instead.

On July 13, 2008, a Powell-Mason cable car became stuck at the intersection of Mason and Washington streets. According to Walter Scott, the secretary-treasurer of the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, which represents Muni conductors, cable cars have a tendency to get stuck at that particular intersection. Scott noted that it is not out of the ordinary for Muni operators to push the cable cars to free them. He also claimed that Muni management was aware that the operators were dislodging the cable cars manually, though it was not clear if anything was being done to fix the hazardous tracks. After the operators were able to dislodge the cable car on July 13, one operator fell as he attempted to reboard the cable car. Simultaneously, the second conductor apparently failed to access the vehicle’s brakes because the door was stuck. The cable car subsequently derailed onto a Powell Street curb at 15 mph, sending passengers flying off the vehicle.

If the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors approves a $2.1 million settlement, damages will be divided among three victims injured in the 2008 cable car derailment. Alma Del Bosque, who suffered various injuries, including a fractured femur, in the wreck was allegedly offered $2 million in compensatory damages. Two other injured passengers, Marie Romo and Dyllan Lopez, are expected to receive $50,000 each. In a separate incident, a cable car crashed into a parked car, leaving John Gainor with severe injuries. Gainor’s foot, which was crushed in the wreck, was amputated shortly after. Though Gainor was allegedly offered a $2.75 settlement, he asked for a jury trial instead. Gainor’s personal injury lawsuit contends Ellis Joseph Cato, who was operating the Muni cable car at the time, carelessly failed to stop or even apply the vehicle’s brakes prior to the collision. The trial is set to take place in June.

*Seasoned Bay Area accident attorney Mary Alexander states if you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. With more than 25 years of experience litigating the multifaceted personal injury and wrongful death claims of accident victims and their families, contacting leading San Francisco injury lawyer Mary Alexander may help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

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