According to CBS News, a group of teenagers launched a brazen attack on passengers aboard a SEPTA bus on May 17, 2023, just before noon, at the North 20th and Diamond Streets stop in North Philadelphia, PA.
According to authorities, the surveillance footage revealed a group of unidentified teenagers boarding a Route 33 bus. As the bus departed the stop, chaos ensued as the teenagers initiated a violent assault on unsuspecting passengers. During the altercation, one of the suspects brandished a gun and struck a passenger, causing the firearm to discharge. The bullets struck two 18-year-olds, both of whom are expected to recover from their injuries.
In the wake of this alarming incident, authorities are urging anyone with relevant information to contact the Philadelphia Police Department.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent is an experienced violent crimes attorney who represents victims of public transit shootins across the state of Pennsylvania. Brian recently sat down with us to share his knowledge on the different legal options available to victims shot while riding a public bus.
"As an experienced violent crimes attorney, I find it necessary to shed light on the legal rights of victims of shootings on public transit, particularly on buses operated by agencies like SEPTA. Public transportation is meant to be a safe means of travel, but unfortunate incidents of violence can occur, leaving innocent passengers injured or traumatized. Understanding the legal rights of those affected is crucial for seeking justice and appropriate compensation.
First and foremost, it is important to recognize that victims of shootings on public transit have the right to hold the responsible parties accountable. This includes not only the individuals directly involved in the shooting, but also potentially the transit agency and other entities that may bear some responsibility for providing a safe environment for passengers.
Establishing liability in such cases can be complex, as it requires demonstrating that the responsible party failed in their duty to provide a reasonably safe environment for passengers. Transit agencies have a duty to take reasonable measures to prevent foreseeable harm to their riders. This includes implementing security measures, such as surveillance systems, security personnel, and protocols for responding to emergencies. Failure to fulfill this duty may make the transit agency liable for the damages suffered by the victims.
Furthermore, victims should be aware that there may be statutory limitations on their ability to pursue legal action. These limitations, known as statutes of limitations, set a specific time frame within which a lawsuit must be filed. Missing the applicable deadline can result in the loss of the right to seek compensation. It is crucial for victims to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after the incident to ensure that their rights are protected."