Lever & Ecker, PLLC December 9, 2016 General
It’s been almost two years since a Metro-North train crashed into an SUV, killing six people including and injuring fifteen others. Yet the victims aboard the train and the loved ones of those who passed away still don’t have any answers regarding what caused the crash. One man believes that the fault lies with the railroad, its parent company, and the state and has filed a personal injury lawsuit against all three parties.
It was February 3rd, 2015 when Ellen Brody, who was driving her 2011 Mercedes SL 350 SUV stopped on the train tracks. Just a few minutes before she had been on the phone with her husband of nearly 25 years who was giving her directions. Investigators are still unsure why she stopped, but while some are quick to claim that she failed to pay attention, an eye witness stated that while driving over the tracks, the railroad crossing warning bar dropped onto the back of her vehicle – with no warning. The witness stated that she had time to get out of her car, look around, and then get back in before moving forward, giving no sign that she was aware of the train moving quickly in her direction.
“As soon as her car began to move forward, the train hit.” he said. He also indicated that she was completely calm and he wasn’t sure why she wasn’t aware that the train was coming.
As for the train, data from the event data recorder, a device like the “black boxes” that are found on airplanes, showed that the engineer in charge was traveling two miles below the posted speed limit of 60 mph and hit the emergency brakes when he saw the SUV, slowing it to 49 mph at the time of the impact.
Brody and five people on the train died from injuries caused by the crash. The injured survivors, like the plaintiff who filed a lawsuit, sustained serious injuries and many have been diagnosed with PTSD.
In his complaint, he alleges that the railroad was negligent because they failed to maintain the warning lights and gate at the site of the accident. He has provided evidence showing that an update and renovations of the area had been planned for 2009 but the project was never started. He is not alone in his claims – the driver’s husband also believes that she was just another innocent victim who could have been saved.
The family of the driver has filed their own lawsuit against Metro-North, making similar allegations. They claim that the intersection of the tracks and the street was lacking in signs, had poor lighting, and that the angle does not allow drivers to see oncoming trains. They even showed that the state had not yet installed flashing lights even though they had been given $126,000 by the federal government five years earlier. Additionally, research into past accidents proved that Brody was not the only person to have a car accident in that intersection.
The idea of pursuing legal action can seem daunting to residents in Mount Kisco, however, the purpose of a personal injury lawsuit is to ensure that victims get the compensation that they justly deserve. This compensation may cover:
The cost of medical care, even with health insurance, can be shocking. Out of pocket expenses add up quickly and if the injuries sustained keep the victim from work, they may soon find themselves struggling simply because someone else made a mistake.