Transit authority settles with families in San Jose railyard mass shooting

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority has reached an $8 million settlement with the families of eight victims of last year’s mass shooting at a San Jose train station, the Mercury News reported Friday.

Nine workers were killed in the May 26, 2021 shooting: Paul Delacruz Megia, 42; Taptejdeep Singh, 36; Adrian Balleza, 29; Jose Dejesus Hernández III, 35; Timothy Michael Romo, 49; Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40; Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63; Lars Kepler Lane, 63; and Alex Ward Fritch, 49.

The shooter, VTA employee Samuel Cassidy, killed himself when confronted by law enforcement.

The $8 million settlement comes a year after the families filed claims for damages and manslaughter against the VTA, the Mercury News reported.

In addition to the settlement, the victims’ families had also previously received an annual salary, death benefit and old-age pension.

The settlement is reportedly well below what the families had sought in their original demands.

Gary Gwilliam, an attorney for the eight families who have settled with the VTA, told Mercury News that the cases against the Transportation Authority are “extremely thin and difficult.”

“These settlements are a fraction of what we think they should be worth given what the families have lost,” Gwilliam told Mercury News.

Lars Kepler Lane’s family has not come to terms with the VTA. A lawyer for the family told Mercury News that the offer was not enough.

“Some of the families don’t know if they want more money or more apologies from them,” Jose Hernandez, father of Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, told Mercury News. “It’s about taking responsibility and VTA will never admit they did anything wrong.”

Families had sought answers and accountability from the VTA regarding Cassidy’s continued employment after he displayed “a series of red flags,” including berating a colleague.

Cassidy was described by investigators as a disgruntled employee. The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department said he had several gas cans, incendiary devices, a dozen firearms and about 25,000 rounds of ammunition in his home, which was set on fire in connection with the attack.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-11-11/san-jose-railyard-mass-shooting-transit-authority-settles-families Transit authority settles with families in San Jose railyard mass shooting

Alley Einstein

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