L.A. County's transit agency could be found negligent in Russell's death

8/16/2008 - Oakland Raiders

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles County's transit agency will face a negligence lawsuit in the deaths of former Oakland Raider defensive lineman Darrell Russell and his former teammate at USC.

A judge on Friday denied a request by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to dismiss the case.

The families of Russell and Michael Bastianelli sued the agency after the two lost control of their vehicle in 2005 and crashed into a parked MTA bus, killing them. The lawsuit alleges the bus driver routinely parked her vehicle in a no-parking zone while she took coffee breaks.

Attorneys for the MTA argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed because the cause of the deaths was speculative.

The judge disagreed and scheduled the trial for Sept. 17 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.