Lawsuit filed by family of woman killed at farmers market

The family of a woman killed in an accident at the Kapiolani Community College farmers market back in March is now suing the company, Ma’o Organic Farms, and the 23-year-old driver who was behind the wheel of the truck that killed her.

Twenty-seven year-old Annie Runland was setting up for Greens & Vines Raw Vegan Restaurant when the truck reportedly backed into and over her. Several others were also injured.

Shortly after the accident, changes were made to the operation of the market to make it safer.

Richard Fried, the attorney for the Runland family, said they’ll be looking at all aspects of the incident to determine what happened.

“It’s our impression that we’re leaning more towards it being driver error than a defect in the truck,” Fried said, “but it’s really speculative now and that’s one of the reasons we’ve initiated this (lawsuit).”

Fried said that they will be looking into the background of the 23-year-old farm employee who was the truck driver, particularly if she was licensed to operate such a vehicle, as well as her medical history and whether she was suffering from sleep deprivation at the time of the accident.

Fried will also be using the services of an expert mechanic to see if the truck itself had any operational problems.

Cary Tanaka, the attorney representing Ma’o Organic Farms, has not responded to the lawsuit that was filed Tuesday morning. He has upwards of 30 days to respond with his own findings.

Runland’s family is from a small town south of Seattle, WA, and will be flying to Honolulu to what would’ve been their daughter’s commencement exercises at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Stan Sheriff Center on Saturday.

Fried learned from the family that it was Sarah Runland’s intentions to stay in Hawaii and use her major in child psychology to work with children in schools.

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