Maryland Family Settles WMATA Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over Tragic Valentine’s Day Pedestrian-Bus Accident

Gregory Schoenburn and Kimberly Pifer, the widower and daughter of Martha Schoenburn, one of two pedestrians killed in a bus accident on Valentine’s Day in 2007, have settled their wrongful death lawsuit against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for $2.3 million.

Martha, an executive assistant, died after she and colleague Sally Dean McGhee were run over by a bus while they crossed Pennsylvania Avenue NW at the 7th intersection on February 14, 2007. The bus driver, Victor Kolako, pleaded guilty to two counts of negligent homicide and is currently behind bars.

Martha’s family had initially sued the WMATA for $50 million. The wrongful death lawsuit filed by McGhee’s family for $20 million is scheduled for trial in October.

Several pedestrian accidents have occurred at the intersection where the two women were struck, and the city has now added a left-turn only lane.

Following the two fatalities, WMATA has agreed to train its 2,400 Metrobus drivers annually. It also set up a “street smart” program to make sure that its employees are knowledgeable about pedestrians on the road.

Public buses are common carriers that owe passengers and pedestrians a greater duty of care to drive safely. Failure to fulfill this care is considered negligence, and if someone is injured or killed because of driver carelessness or recklessness, you are entitled to financial recovery. Our Maryland and Washington DC bus accident lawyers can help you explore all your legal options.

We know how to investigate bus crash cases and determine not just driver negligence, but we can find out if there is more that a transportation agency or the city could have done to prevent the accident from happening. We know how to bring an injury claim against all liable parties and deal with the unique issues that can arise with bus accident claims and lawsuits.

WMATA Settles Wrongful Death Suit, Legaltimes, June 13, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Washington Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Approaches to Enhancing Pedestrian Safety and Access, FHWA Safety

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