fb pixel code Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Oakland Personal Injury Lawyer / Blog / Personal Injury / Former Berkeley Mayor’s Family Files Wrongful Death After Traffic Accident

Former Berkeley Mayor’s Family Files Wrongful Death After Traffic Accident


The family of Eugene “Gus” Newport has filed a personal injury wrongful death lawsuit against a transportation company alleging that the company’s driver was negligent in the accident leading to his death. The mayor’s widow, daughter, and son are all named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, Newport had an appointment for a hearing aid at the U.S. Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco on June 12. Newport had an obvious disability, the amputation of his right leg, and required the use of a wheelchair for mobility. He was picked up by the defendant’s transportation company for his appointment at the San Francisco VA medical center. During the ride, Newport was injured “in a manner currently unknown” according to the complaint. He suffered injuries to his cervical spine (his neck) and later died of these injuries. He died on June 17, 5 days after the transportation company picked him up.

According to the family, Newport never made it to the VA hospital. Instead, the driver from the transportation company called an ambulance and had Newport delivered to San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center then contacted the family to inform them that Newport was in the intensive care unit. The family says that doctors at the hospital placed Newport into a medically induced coma. Newport never woke up.

Elements of negligence

 The family is accusing the transportation company’s driver (identified only as Doe 1) of negligence, willful misconduct, elder abuse, and wrongful death. They are seeking compensatory damages, general damages, and punitive damages in their lawsuit including attorney’s fees and court costs.

At present, we don’t know what sequence of events led to Newport’s death. It is common for a plaintiff’s attorney to make all allegations against a defendant that are possible given the circumstances. At this time, the plaintiffs have no clue what happened that led to their loved one’s death. However, they do know that a man should not die on his way to a hearing aid appointment. It is likely that some form of negligence occurred or even intentional misconduct led to Newport’s death. In a case like this, you lead with the most serious allegations, pressure the defendant into making some form of response, and then depose the driver to determine exactly what happened.

Chances are bad that the defendant has a reasonable explanation for how a man broke his neck while being transported in a van meant for disabled passengers. It could be that the driver had to stop suddenly causing the defendant’s neck to jerk abruptly resulting in injuries to his cervical spine. Whatever happened, this is not a good situation for the transportation company. They will have to answer for this death.

Talk to an Oakland, CA Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Venardi Zurada represents the interests of Oakland plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits. Call our Oakland personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation, and we can begin discussing your case right away.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn