On the One Year Anniversary of A Disaster - the Defendant goes on a media blitz

Photo:  Michelle Esteban's twitter feed

Photo:  Michelle Esteban's twitter feed

One year ago, Seattle experienced its worst traffic disaster.  A converted amphibious military vehicle built for World War II went across the center line of our most notorious bridge into the side of a school bus.   Five international students were killed and over 50 more students, tourists, and others were injured.    Firefighters who performed the rescue operations still become emotional when thinking about the disaster.

At a time when we should be remembering the families of the dead, encouraging and helping the survivors, a media blitz is being waged by the owner of Ride the Ducks.

Now he is entitled to speak and share his opinion.  As a former news entertainer he certainly knows how to give a good interview.

But it is upsetting for the victims I represent that he is doing so.

Last month Mr. Tracey filed an affidavit trying to get me to stop talking and sharing.  He accused me of bad mouthing his company.    His lawyers did in fact obtain a protective order so that I cannot share what is being discovered in this case.  But Judge Shaffer also upheld my first amendment rights.  So here is what I have to say.

A defendant who is sorry does not claim that the driver of the bus that was hit by his duck - may also be at fault.

A defendant who is sorry does not try to dismiss a wrongful death claim on an archaic legal technicality because a dead student's parents live in Korea instead of the US.

A defendant who says they are sorry sorry sorry to a reporter but who has never told a single victim in person, by telephone, by email, or by any act or deed that they are sorry - is not accepting responsibility.

A defendant who is truly sorry steps up.  He does whatever he can to make things right immediately.  He advances funds to help pay the victims' funeral and medical expenses.  He cares for surviving relatives and helps them travel to be with their dying child.  He doesn't let the financial burden fall upon the public.

He doesn't use the one year memorial as a public relations opportunity.