$575K settlement approved to man injured in 2011 Muni incident

S.F. Examiner File PhotoSFMTA will pay $575

A pedestrian who was seriously injured after being struck by a Muni bus last year will receive a $575,000 settlement from the transit agency.

Kevin Michael Wong, a San Francisco native, was crossing Beale and Market streets Jan. 10, 2011, when he was hit by a Muni bus taking a right turn. Wong suffered significant back injuries as a result of the accident and had to leave his position as an information technology specialist, said his lawyer Matt White. Wong eventually underwent back surgery at the behest of his doctors, and was unable to regain his old job, White said.

On Tuesday, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors approved the $575,000 settlement in a closed-session meeting.

“The injury didn’t cripple him, but it has had a substantial impact on his life,” White said. “Both sides agreed without much argument that this was fair compensation.”

The payout will come from the agency’s operating budget, which totals $820 million this fiscal year. While the six-figure settlement is considerable, it pales in comparison to past payouts.

Last year, the agency approved a $5.36 million settlement given to a bicyclist who suffered grievous injuries after being struck by a bus in a crosswalk near Ocean Beach in 2008. It approved a $21 million settlement in 2008 for the family of Elizabeth Dominguez, a 3-year-old girl who was struck and killed by a transportation maintenance vehicle in 2003.

Ron Basconcillo, the Muni operator driving the bus that struck Wong last year, is no longer with the agency, according to spokesman Paul Rose.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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