Henry K. Lee, 3/20/13
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has agreed to pay $900,000 to the widow of a former Oakland Tribune journalist who was struck and killed by a Muni Metro train.
The agency agreed in closed session Tuesday to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by Daryl Brand, the widow of Bill Brand, a longtime Tribune reporter and nationally known beer critic.
Bill Brand, 70, was hit at Second and King streets about 9 p.m. on Feb. 8, 2009, as he was walking in a crosswalk toward a Muni platform. He was heading to his Berkeley home after covering a beer-tasting event.
In a lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court, Daryl Brand said Muni driver Anthony Harge had seen her husband in the crosswalk but “believed that Brand was stopping to yield to the train and, therefore, continued without slowing or signaling Brand of the train’s presence.”
The light-rail vehicle hit Brand, knocking him into a light pole. He fell into a coma and died 12 days later.
In court papers, Muni officials had denied any wrongdoing. Harge no longer works for Muni, agency spokesman Paul Rose said without elaborating.
Harge, who could not be reached for comment Wednesday, was not cited or charged in the crash, authorities said.
“Daryl Brand and Bill Brand are the most extraordinarily kind and decent people I’ve ever met,” said Daryl Brand’s attorney, Harry Stern. “Hopefully, in some small way, this brings a measure of relief to Daryl for her immeasurable loss.”