Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Island Transit

The estate of a woman who passed away in 2011 filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Island Transit last week.

The estate of a woman who passed away in 2011 filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Island Transit last week.

The lawsuit filed in Island County Superior Court claims that former Whidbey resident Joan Biondi was injured when she was a rider of a paratransit bus, and that injury contributed to her death less than three weeks later.

The lawsuit comes just as Island Transit is facing serious public relations problems because unforeseen financial difficulties forced officials to lay off employees and cut routes.

Attorney Chris Crew of Elma filed the lawsuit on behalf of the relatives of Biondi, who passed away Sept. 15, 2011.

The lawsuit states that Biondi, who was with her granddaughter, sought paratransit transportation to Whidbey General Hospital for medication refills on Aug. 26, 2011. Island Transit offers curb-to-curb paratransit service for registered, eligible persons of disability who are unable to use the regular bus service.

The paratransit driver picked up Biondi and her granddaughter for the return trip. The driver strapped the wheelchair into the restraints but neglected to also strap Biondi into restraints, the lawsuit alleges.

The driver slammed on the brakes on the way to her home, causing Biondi to catapult from her wheelchair, hit her head on a seat and land hard on her knees, the complaint states.

The granddaughter helped Biondi back into her chair. Biondi refused ambulatory service because she had just returned from the hospital, the lawsuit states.

The driver said he would have to report the incident to his supervisors, but allegedly neglected to do so, the lawsuit alleges.

The day after the incident, Biondi’s knees swelled and became painful. Her granddaughter called 9-1-1 for help and an ambulance crew responded. Biondi suffered cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital, but survived, the complaint states.

While recovering in the hospital, Biondi learned that her kneecap had been shattered, the complaint states. She died shortly after her being released from the hospital.

The lawsuit alleges both wrongful death and negligence as causes of action. It alleges that Island Transit and its employee breached its duty to take reasonable care to prevent injury to its paratransit occupants.

In addition, the lawsuit alleges that the added stress and anxiety from Biondi’s injuries could have caused the onset of cardiac arrest, “which ultimately led to her untimely death,” the lawsuit alleges.

 

More in News

Senior center class combats Parkinson’s through song

When members of Island Senior Resources’ Parkinson’s Support Group first learned about… Continue reading

Whidbey feels regional Christmas tree crunch

Tree farms decrease, prices increase

Cuts or levy hike needed to address $2 mil deficit for libraries in 2019

Facing a $2 million shortfall in 2019, the Sno-Isle Libraries Board of… Continue reading

Group working to keep Whidbey’s water safe

A group focused on addressing contaminated water on Whidbey Island packed a… Continue reading

Remains not unusual find at Oak Harbor sewage plant site

The project engineer for Oak Harbor’s sewage plant project has lost count… Continue reading

City of Langley to pursue Brookhaven Creek daylight project

Langley City Council gave the city’s Planning Department a thumbs up to… Continue reading

Korrow, Emerson sworn in at city hall

Two newly elected Langley City Council members were sworn into office on… Continue reading

The iconic logo on the side of Greenbank Store.
Historic Greenbank store changing hands

Community turns out for Sunday ‘last supper’

Coupeville Port, community to celebrate ‘buying’ Greenbank Farm

Community, Coupeville Port celebrate ‘buying the farm’

Most Read