Waste Management Sued for Wrongful Death of UC Davis Professor Kentaro Inoue

Truck driver mistook collision for engine problems and dragged Inoue for additional 45 feet

Kentaro Inoue

Kentaro Inoue

Agnew Brusavich, a serious personal injury law firm, has filed a civil lawsuit against Waste Management and its driver Craig Michael Tivey for the death of Kentaro Inoue, who was struck by a Waste Management garbage truck while bicycling to work. Tivey mistook the collision for previously reported engine problems, and continued to drag Inoue an additional 45 feet into a driveway. Inoue was a professor at the University of California, Davis. Tivey, who faces vehicular manslaughter charges by the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, contends that the truck had multiple mechanical problems, which caused his failure to realize that he had hit Inoue.

“Unfortunately, Waste Management was grossly negligent in the maintenance of its truck, and it cost Kentaro his life,” said lead attorney Bruce Brusavich. “Tivey had written up his truck’s engine problems several days earlier, and had they been promptly fixed, Kentaro might be alive today.”

The lawsuit accuses Waste Management of gross negligence in the maintenance of its trucks, putting the public at risk of serious injury or death, and seeks compensatory and punitive damages for Inoue’s wife, Amy Brown.

Separately, the criminal jury trial against Tivey is set for September 25, 2017.

Inoue, who was 48 years old, was riding his bicycle westbound on West Capitol Avenue from his home in Sacramento to work at UC Davis on the morning of Aug. 31, 2016. According to the West Sacramento police, he was wearing his helmet and obeying all traffic laws while riding in a marked and designated bike lane.

Tivey, who was driving a large Waste Management trash truck, was stopped on Poplar Avenue waiting to make a right turn at a red light when Inoue rode his bicycle through the intersection on a green light directly in front of Tivey’s truck. Tivey made a right turn onto West Capitol Avenue, accelerated and overtook Inoue, who was in the bike lane immediately to the right of Tivey’s vehicle.

Tivey then suddenly made a right turn into the El Rancho Mobile Home Park in West Sacramento in front of Inoue, causing a collision on the right side of the truck. Tivey told police that he had heard and felt something, but assumed he was experiencing engine problems which he had written up for repairs days earlier. A janitor for El Rancho Mobile Home Park told police that he was in the driveway, heard Inoue scream out for the trash truck to stop and then heard the collision. The janitor then tried to alert Tivey to stop his vehicle. Instead, Tivey dragged Inoue 45 feet into the mobile park’s driveway, killing him.

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