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Council approved $900k settlement for family of trash truck victim

Council approved $900k settlement for family of trash truck victim

April 5, 2017

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) 537-2525.

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