Family of bus attack victim sues Greyhound

The Associated Press
Tuesday October 08, 2002

LOS ANGELES – The family of one of the women who died in the crash of Greyhound bus after its driver was stabbed by a passenger has sued the transit company. 

The wrongful death lawsuit against Greyhound was filed late Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court by the family of Rosa Barrera, 61, of Santa Rosa. The lawsuit claims that Greyhound provided lax security by allowing accused killer Arturo Tapai Martinez, 27, to board the bus. 

Martinez has pleaded innocent to two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. 

Witnesses said Martinez stabbed the driver, Abel Hernandez, 50, in the neck with a pair of scissors. The alleged attack caused a crash killed Barrera and Rebecca Alice Good, 64, of Phoenix. 

Fifty-one people were on the bus heading from Los Angeles to San Francisco when it flipped on its side following the attack and slid into a cotton field off Interstate 5, about 70 miles from Fresno. The crash left 27 people hospitalized. 

The lawsuit by the Barrera family also named bus driver Hernandez, who survived the attack, and Martinez as defendants and said Greyhound should have been on guard against such an assault. 

Plaintiff’s attorney Kent Henderson alleged that Greyhound had been put “on notice” about security problems after an Oct. 3, 2001, attack in Tennessee by a passenger who slashed a Greyhound driver’s throat with a box cutter. The attack caused a crash that led to the deaths of seven people. 

Kim Plaskett, a spokesman for Dallas-based Greyhound, declined to comment on the lawsuit. 

“We have not seen any such lawsuit and we can’t discuss any litigation anyway,” she said.