December 8th, 2010 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP

Trimet Faces Multi-Million-Dollar Lawsuit in Pedestrian Deaths

TriMet faces a lawsuit from the family of a pedestrian run over and killed by one of its buses on April 24 in Old Town and from another pedestrian injured in the incident.

The lawsuit seeks $10 million from the public transit agency for each of the two victims.

The suit (PDF) was filed Tuesday on behalf of two residents of Vancouver, Wash. Danielle Sale, 22, was killed in the crash. Erik Gittings, also 22, was seriously injured. The lawsuit does not describe his injuries.

The family of the second person killed in the crash, Jenee Hammel, has filed notice of intent to sue Trimet. But that family is not represented in the lawsuit filed yesterday in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

The new lawsuit repeats allegations first reported by WW that bus driver Sandi Day made an illegal left turn onto Northwest Broadway when she struck the pedestrians who had just left a comedy show. The suit also names Day, former TriMet executive director Fred Hansen and two other TriMet officials.

The suit, filed by three partners at the Portland law firm Kirklin Thompson & Pope, also names three companies involved in manufacturing the bus and three companies that made parts for the left-side driver's mirror.

TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch declined to comment.
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