BART Accused of Being Late -- in Paying Out to Survivors of Track Inspector Killed by Train
Atop the ongoing unrest that comes with BART police beating and shooting an unarmed man (and, more tellingly, video of said offense hitting the news), now the widow and child of a former BART employee killed by a speeding train are accusing the agency of putting the brakes on survivor payments.
A terse release sent to Bay Area media outlets accused BART of not yet paying dollar one to the family of James Strickland, who was inspecting the tracks last year between Concord and Pleasant Hill stations when he was hit by a train (the cringe-inducing wording of the release -- certainly not accidental -- notes that Strickland, 44, was "struck from behind by a train travelling 70 mph.").
Incidentally, the Stewart Boxer of the law firm handling this case, Boxer Gerson LLP, is the husband of Sen. Barbara Boxer. Warrants mentioning.
BART e-mailed SF Weekly the following statement regarding Strickland's death:
BART is sensitive to the loss suffered by the family of JamesIf BART is searching for a silver lining, at least it can take solace in knowing no one caught Strickland's horrible death on cell phone video (to the best of our knowledge).
Strickland, and is fully supportive of their receiving all the benefits to
which they are entitled.
The family has already received both life insurance payments and the
amount of pay owed to Mr. Strickland at the time of his death, and is the
beneficiary of his investment accounts.
Payments from Workers' Compensation depend on receipt of appropriate
documentation from the family. A portion of the necessary documentation
was received just last week, but some information remains outstanding.
BART has been in continuing discussion with the attorney for the Strickland
family, and will make renewed efforts to reach an accommodation such that
payments can be made.
The text of the press release is printed after the break.
BART Accused of Delaying Death Benefit Payments
to Family of Employee Killed by Train
CONCORD, February 2, 2009 -- The widow and the 18-year-old son of a 44-year-old BART employee who was struck and killed by a train while inspecting tracks last October are still waiting for the death benefits to which they are entitled and are asking state officials to impose penalties on the transit district for the delays.