Family of San Bruno Man Who Drowned at SFO Files Lawsuit

Jean Arbelbide fell through rotten plywood and into a water-filled pit last March.

The family of a man who drowned at San Francisco International Airport is filing a lawsuit against the City of South San Francisco and a parking lot company for not preventing or protecting public safety.

Jean Arbelbide, 63, was spraying weed killer in an SFO parking lot last March when he fell through rotten plywood, and into a water-filled pit, reported the San Jose Mercury News Thursday.

His family discovered his body in a nine-foot deep pit a couple of days after he went to work. According to their attorney, the self-employed San Bruno gardener fell into a part of infrastructure leftover from when the area was used as a ship dock.

Now Arbelbide's family claims that the people who run the parking lot didn’t warn or protect the public. Yet South San Francisco’s city attorney says that the death was a terrible accident, but that the city isn’t responsible.

Arbelbide lived in San Mateo County for 43 years, according to an obituary published in the San Mateo Daily Journal last April. Originally from France, he was a member of the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco.

Rob Chapman February 01, 2013 at 05:46 AM
So, is this lawsuit going to bring this family's loved one? Nope. But, hey, they'll have lots of money to smile about.
Tre February 01, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Someone is responsible. Sorry for the Arbelbide's loss and hope they win big.
Jim C February 02, 2013 at 12:41 AM
Condolences to Mr. Arbelbide's family. May he rest in peace. But if it happened at SFO, why are they suing SOUTH San Francisco? And were there pylons and tape and warning signs? How could anybody cover a pit like that and just leave it? Unless there's more to this story, I'd say this might warrant criminal charges against management too.


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