Widow of Man Stabbed to Death on Metro Line Wants Lawsuit Kept Alive

Widow of Man Stabbed to Death on Metro Line Wants Lawsuit Kept Alive

Riders await an LA Metro rail train in Los Angeles on April 10, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

City News Service
City News Service

6/23/2024

Updated: 6/23/2024

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LOS ANGELES—The widow of a man stabbed to death in 2018 while riding a Metro train is asking a judge to keep her lawsuit alive and reject the transportation agency’s claim that it is “not the insurer of its passengers’ safety.”
In court papers filed June 14 with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa Jaskol, attorneys for Fanfan Jiang, the widow of the late Xuezhong Bao, state that there are triable issues in their client’s wrongful death/negligence suit.
“This is not a case of additional security, which is addressed by much of the case law cited by [Metro],” Ms. Jiang’s lawyers contend in their pleadings. “This case is a matter of no security, despite the contractual obligations [Metro] undertook on its own to provide security on its line where the murder occurred.”
Mr. Bao and a homeless man, Peter Munoz, made separate boardings on the Metro A line (then known as the Gold Line) in Azusa late on the morning of Nov. 27, 2018, and not long afterward Munoz stabbed the victim in the upper chest, the plaintiff’s lawyers state in their court papers. Other passengers gave aid to Mr. Bao and notified the conductor, the only Metro employee on the train at the time, according to Ms. Jiang’s attorneys’ court papers.
Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel also later gave Mr. Bao help, but he died before noon, according to his widow’s lawyers’ pleadings.
“With the increase in homeless people at stations, there was a decrease in workers and upkeep at stations,” Ms. Jiang’s attorneys maintain. “The increase in homeless persons entering the Metro was because no one was monitoring the homeless situation.”
In 2018 there were about 80 personnel who worked Metro’s transit security division compared to some 175 now, according to Ms. Jiang’s lawyers’ court papers.
“Based on the facts, Metro failed in its duty to provide safe transportation for its passengers,” Ms. Jiang’s lawyers argue. “Metro was aware of the ongoing assaults on its lines and failed to take reasonable steps and measures to make sure its passengers were safe aboard its trains.”
But in their court papers, Metro attorneys maintain that the attack on Mr. Bao was unforeseeable and that therefore the agency was not negligent.
“Suspect Munoz calmly walked over to decedent Bao and, without making any commotion, without making any noises and without saying a word, [stabbed the victim],” the Metro attorneys state in their court papers. “Yet, how can one know what measures will protect against the thug, the narcotic addict, the degenerate, the psychopath and the psychotic?”
Metro is “not the insurer of its passengers’ safety” and no California case has held a transportation agency liable for a sudden assault which occurs with no warning,” according to the Metro lawyers’ motion, which is set for hearing July 1.
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