Two teenagers were attacked and beaten by a group of youths while riding a Metro bus in 2005, and last week a jury ruled that King County Metro was negligent when the bus driver took no action to stop the attack.
In a civil case brought against the transit company, the Superior Court jury voted to award both plaintiffs $125,000 each in damages. Attorneys for King County had argued throughout the trial that the driver didn’t see the assaults as they were happening.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs claimed that the driver was partly to blame. They said he should have called his dispatcher for back up when he saw a “rowdy” group of teenagers boarding the bus late at night, and that he also should have radiod for police help once the assault began. One plaintiff attorney said, “He’s got an emergency alarm, he’s got mirrors, he’s got a PA system. He’s got tools….three of the young passengers were left to fend for themselves.”