The family of Nia Wilson, who sadly lost her life after a fatal stabbing at an Oakland BART station, is suing the transit agency. The family claims that BART could have done more to protect the 18-year-old and her sister Malika Harris, who was also wounded but is now recovering.
According to The Mercury News, Arns Law Firm in San Francisco — which specializes in cases of negligence by public entities — will represent Wilson’s family in the suit. Attorneys from the law firm said the suit will allege that the man charged with Nia’s murder, 27-year-old John Lee Cowell, should never have been permitted inside the train station. In fact, the lawsuit will argue, he should have been picked up at the gates for fare evasion. He had been stopped but not apprehended for fare evasion in the days leading up to Wilson’s murder — a missed opportunity to prevent the heinous crime that followed.
According to KRON 4, the lawsuit will allege that “BART failed to meet the duty of common carriers to provide riders with the highest standard of care.” It will also argue that Cowell’s crime was “foreseeable and preventable.” They will demand that BART get stricter on fare evasion, give the public reliable information on crimes committed on their trains, and commit to policies including more personnel to deter crime. As reported by The San Francisco Chronicle, Arns alleged that there is an overlap between fare evaders and criminals. Public records indicate that 22,000 people enter BART illegally every single day, according to his firm.