In urban areas outside Oklahoma, trains are routinely used for daily transportation and commuting. Because they carry thousands of passengers every day, the operators of the train are responsible for ensuring the safety of their passengers.
Unfortunately, train accidents happen every year. Most are minor, but sometimes, as one that occurred in New York City last December proves, train accidents kill and injure. In 2008, for example, train accidents in the United States injured 900 people and killed nearly 300.
The crash on the Metro-North line occurred when the train derailed after traveling over the speed limit. Four people died and 70 others were injured. More than four months after the crash, one victim is suing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the company responsible for the trains, for the injuries that he sustained in the incident.
The 39-year-old man is reportedly suing MTA for $100 million. The Bronx resident suffered a spinal cord injury that left him a quadriplegic. He now moves with the help of a wheelchair, but has mounting medical bills due to his condition and needs 24-hour care.
Metro-North has declined to comment on this or other suits.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board determined that speed was the probable cause of the accident. Prior to derailing on a sharp curve, the Metro-North train was traveling 82 miles per hour, more than three times the speed limit on that section of track. The train operator also admitted to dozing off just before the train crashed.
The plaintiff in this case, who worked as a mechanic for Metro-North, says he forgave the train operator and is suing Metro-North as a way to protect his family's financial future.
Track defects, signal defects and human distractions are among the common causes of railroad accidents. If these derive from negligence, they become substantial factors for train accident victims to pursue claims against the negligent parties involved.
Source: USA Today, "Derailment victim sues for $100 million for medical costs, Theresa Juva-Brown, April 10, 2014