On April 10, City of Pittsburgh lawmakers proposed legislation that, if passed, would end up with the municipality paying $125,000 to settle a bus-pedestrian wrongful death case from 2015. That year, a 73-year-old and 68-year-old Wilkinsburg husband and wife pair was struck and killed by one of the city’s Port Authority buses. The incident happened near the Petersen Events Center on the University of Pittsburgh’s campus.
According to witnesses to the fatal crash, the couple had apparently been disembarking the bus in October of 2015 when they were struck by a fast-approaching sports utility vehicle (SUV). The motorist first struck the wheelchair-bound husband and then his wife. The driver ultimately ran over both spouses at the intersection of Alequippa Street, Centre Avenue and University Drive.
In the years since the crash, the couple’s two daughters have filed and successfully won a $450,000 settlement against the Allegheny County’s Port Authority.
An attorney for the couple’s daughters suggests that his clients decided to sue the city for damages in an effort to compensate for the loss of their parents. They also did so in hopes that the city will make the intersection safer so that no one experiences the same fate their parents ultimately did.
Before the incident occurred, the plaintiff’s attorney argues that there was a high risk of pedestrians being struck by turning cars, something that was made worse by the fact that there weren’t any markings on the pavement in the area.
Since the incident, the city, who is responsible for maintaining the intersection in question, has reportedly made improvements to it. They’ve apparently added pedestrian crossing signals, a left turn light and crosswalks.
Lawmakers apparently feel more confident in their choice to settle this lawsuit knowing that the city’s done what’s needed to ensure such an incident never happens again. The settlement will go up for a vote in front of Pittsburgh City Council by the end of the month.
As for the driver of the SUV, she ultimately settled out-of-court for $200,000 without ever having admitted liability. The Port Authority bus driver was ultimately reassigned to a desk position working with his employer.
If your loved one has been struck and killed by a negligent motorist at a poorly designed intersection, then a Pittsburgh attorney can advise you of legal avenues that can be pursued in your case.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “City could pay $125,000 settlement from fatal accident in Hill District,” Adam Smeltz, April 10, 2018