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The Bar Association of San Francisco’s Lawyer Referral Panel Attorney Wins $5.36M for MUNI Victim

Largest settlement ever by a panel attorney and MUNI’s largest involving a MUNI transit vehicle

 

September 29, 2011 – San Francisco The Bar Association of San Francisco’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service has announced the largest settlement received by a panel member, a $5.36 million settlement reached with the San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority on behalf of a bicycle victim who was hit by a MUNI bus in November 2008.  This settlement is also the largest payout by MUNI involving a MUNI transit vehicle.

In November 2008, a MUNI bus driver failed to stop at a stop sign and accelerated through a left turn onto the Lower Great Highway, hitting 44-year old David Wheeler as he crossed in a crosswalk on his bike. Wheeler suffered a traumatic brain injury leaving him permanently disabled and in need of medical care and assistance for the rest of his life.

The Bar Association of San Francisco’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) was contacted after the accident by Wheeler’s family. LRIS referred the family to veteran personal injury attorneys Jerry Hurtubise of Winslow and Hurtubise.  Hurtubise and his law partner, Greg Winslow, each spent approximately 2,500 hours on the case, working through misinformation from city officials, interviewing witnesses and studying an onboard camera recording of the accident secured through a Sunshine Ordinance demand.

Winslow and Hurtubise reached an agreement with the city of San Francisco to settle the case for $5.36M, the largest Muni settlement ever involving a Muni bus, cable or trolley car.

This victory also tops the largest settlement award previously reported by an LRIS panel attorney.  That award came in 2006 when LRIS Personal Injury Panel attorneys Thomas Paoli and Chuck Geerhart of Paoli & Geerhart won a $4.15 million settlement in another massive injury case against an airline.


 

About LRIS:  The Bar Association of San Francisco’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) is a referral program certified by the State Bar of California and nationally recognized as a model referral service by the American Bar Association. Annually, LRIS serves 50,000 individuals with quality referrals to experienced, insured and ethical attorneys or appropriate legal resources at 415-989-1616 or www.sfbar.org/lawyerreferrals.


The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) is a nonprofit voluntary membership organization of over 8,000 attorneys, law students and legal professionals in the Bay Area. Founded in 1872, BASF is one of the largest and most dynamic metropolitan bar associations in the U.S., with a long and distinguished record of community action, public service and service to the legal profession.

Questions about media relations, BASF issues currently in the news, San Francisco Attorney magazine, marketing and communications:

Contact:
Ann Murphy, Director of Communications & Public Relations
Email:
amurphy@sfbar.org
Phone:
(415) 782-9000 x8792

For general communications inquiries:

Contact:
Sayre Happich, Assistant Director of Communications & Public Relations
Email:
shappich@sfbar.org
Phone:
(415) 782-9000 x8104