Our Hawaii personal injury attorneys at Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner have recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family of a woman who was tragically killed by a tour bus in February. The lawsuit, filed on April 6th, names the bus driver and the tour bus company, Travel Plaza Transportation, as defendants.
The lawsuit stems from a fatal pedestrian accident that occurred on February 23rd, during which 65-year-old Jui-Ching Hu was struck and killed as she was crossing Mahukona Street near Ala Moana. Jui-Ching, also known as Jenny, was using a designated crosswalk when the tour bus turned the corner and hit her. It was her 65th birthday.
Upon investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident and the parties involved, it became apparent that there were several red flags the tour bus company failed to address. In particular, the bus driver involved in the incident had a record of traffic tickets, yet Travel Plaza Transportation still employed him and put him behind the wheel of a large commercial vehicle.
In addition to negligently hiring and retaining a driver with a questionable driver safety record, Travel Plaza Transportation has been cited for more than 50 safety violations in the past 2 years for failing to properly maintain its vehicles, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Travel Plaza Transportation’s safety record raises many questions about the company’s disregard to public safety and its unsafe operation. As Attorney Mike Cruise told Hawaii News Now, the bus company’s record creates substantial concerns:
“A woman has died, and a family has lost a wife and mother. They have real concerns that this company did not take public safety seriously. It’s a real concern that they would have a person who has gotten these types of tickets, even if they were dismissed, and put them behind the wheel of a gigantic bus. The record of safety violations also includes violations involving brakes, tires, and lights. Things that are vital to public safety.”
By filing a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the victim’s family, our firm looks to clearly establish fault and liability by illustrating how the bus driver and tour bus company failed to uphold their legal obligation of taking reasonable measures to reduce risks of accidents, and that this tragedy could and should have been prevented.
In addition to allowing the family to pursue justice and the compensation they deserve, the wrongful death case can also call attention to critical safety issues and make it clear that compromising public safety should never be tolerated. Our clients and our legal team are all hopeful that it can play at least some role in helping to prevent other similar tragedies from happening to innocent victims and their loved ones in the future.