The Arns Law Firm is preparing to file a lawsuit on behalf of the family of Nia Wilson, the woman tragically killed the night of Sunday, July 22, 2018, against Bay Area Rapid Transit (“BART”). The suit will allege BART failed to meet the duty of common carriers to provide riders with the highest standard of care.
According to reports, Nia Wilson, 18, and her two sisters Letifah and Tashiya, were boarding a BART train car at the MacArthur BART Station when John Cowell, an apparent fare jumping transient slashed Nia across the neck, and stabbed her sister, Letifah, before fleeing. Nia’s wounds were fatal while Letifah survived. The third sister, Tashiya, witnessed the attack.
Nia’s father, Ansar El Muhammad arrived at the station after the attack and saw his daughter Letifah covered with blood and Nia dead under a blanket in a pool of blood on the platform.
Cowell, was found riding BART the day after the incident. The lawsuit will allege he should never have been permitted to enter the BART system, he should have been stopped at the turnstile on Sunday and on Monday, and his crime was foreseeable and preventable.
Public records show more than 22,000 illegally enter BART daily (costing over $25 million in lost revenue a year) and many of them are a transient criminal element. BART has failed to stop these “fare jumpers” at the turnstiles leading to a 66% increase in violent crime on BART.
“BART has a legal duty to provide the highest care to protect its passengers from assault,” said Robert Arns and Jonathan Davis of the Arns Law Firm. The San Francisco-based firm represents victims of negligence and their families, including those injured or killed by the failures of public entities like BART. “During a time when the incidence of violent crime in Oakland and the rest of Alameda County is decreasing, violent crime on BART is increasing. BART management has failed to come clean with the public about the dangers riders face every day.” As a result, the complaint will allege that violent crime is foreseeable on BART because the system is rife with criminal activity. Because of the lack of security at the turnstiles, the suit will claim criminals freely enter the system and preventable crimes occur in stations on a daily basis.
BART’s website makes the following statement:
Safety and security are a primary focus at BART – we work hard every day to ensure your ride is trouble-free. We constantly upgrade and improve our security measures […].
The lawsuit will allege BART failed to meet this standard.
The family of Nia Wilson is in mourning. They want justice for their family and for all riders of BART and hope this preventable murder will force BART to take action. The lawsuit will demand BART to take corporate responsibility by admitting that BART is not a safe place for any passenger, and admitting that BART will make necessary changes with BART security to protect passengers.
Nia Wilson’s family implores our community to focus on the reason for this horrible loss –the gross negligence of BART for its failure to provide security to its riders –and not to react with violence or mischief.
The family of Nia Wilson want the murder of this amazing 18-year-old to be a turning point in the Bay Area and for BART.
The Arns Law Firm demands BART take the following actions to stop the escalation of violent crime and change the culture of BART: (1) catch the fare evaders in the act, (2) provide accurate and up to date information to the public about criminal activity on the system and at each station and, and (3) implement policies and deploy personnel to effectively deter crime.
Nia Wilson’s family will hold a memorial service on Friday August 3, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at The Acts Full Gospel Church of God in Christ in Oakland, California. Nia’s dream was to join the military and be an emergency medical technician.As her dad sadly adds, “we will never see my baby again. and she will never be able to pursue her dreams. No parent should ever have this experience in their life.”
The above is a press release issued by the Arns Law Firm on August 1, 2018. For media coverage, click here.