Judge dismisses Vancouver MAX riders suit

first_imgA Multnomah County judge has thrown out a $1 million suit filed against TriMet by a 30-year-old woman who said the transit agency failed to protect her from being assaulted by an obnoxious group of teens on a Yellow Line MAX train.The highly publicized June 2008 incident in which a group teenagers attacked Staci Lynn Smith, a Vancouver woman taking her first ride on MAX, stirred widespread outrage and calls for greater transit security.The teenagers involved were prosecuted for assault or lesser crimes. While some of the teenagers’ parents said the teens were wrong to strike the woman and take her purse, they contended she wasn’t the innocent bystander portrayed in some initial media accounts.After 1 1/2 days of trial, Judge Michael McShane ruled Tuesday that Smith and her attorney had failed to present a case that could convince the jury that TriMet was negligent The judge also chastised Smith’s attorney, Victor Calzaretta, for his lack of preparation, noting Calzaretta couldn’t say when his next witnesses would show up.Two jurors interviewed after being dismissed said they weren’t inclined to award any money to Smith.Smith’s attorney had contended that TriMet had a policy of not telling passengers that police were on the way because TriMet didn’t want assailants to get away.last_img

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