The Honolulu City Council has approved a $900,000 settlement for the family
of Pauline Ando, 83, who was struck and killed by a reversing City trash
truck in an Aiea cul-de-sac in 2013. The
wrongful death lawsuit was handled by the law firm of Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner.
The driver of the trash truck, Lunue Bethea, acknowledged to police that
he chose to reverse out of the cul-de-sac because reversing was easier
and faster than driving forward to turn around. This violated City refuse
policy, which prohibits trash truck drivers from reversing unless there
is no other option. In the two years before the fatal collision, Mr. Bethea
had crashed into cars while reversing out of cul-de-sacs on three separate
occasions and yet was never disciplined by the City. He was, however,
demoted for killing Ms. Ando.
Between 2009 and 2013, there were roughly 400 collisions involving City
trash trucks. The City investigated each and concluded that approximately
70 percent of the collisions should have been avoided by the trash truck
driver. As the Honolulu personal injury attorneys at Leavitt, Yamane and
Soldner point out, this statistic proves there are longstanding systemic
problems in how the City hires, trains, and supervises its trash truck
drivers. Indeed, just last year, the City paid $1,000,000 to the family
of Barbara Kato after she was run over and killed by a City trash truck.
The Kato family was also represented by Leavitt, Yamane and Soldner.
To get in touch with a Honolulu wrongful death lawyers at Leavitt, Yamane
and Soldner, please call (808) 518-2120.