Metrolink, the regional rail agency for Southern California, has denied liability for the September crash that left 25 people dead and dozens more injured. The crash was one of the worst in American rail history. In its first court filing since the crash, Metrolink asserts an immunity defense based on federal preemption grounds. Metrolink also argues that damages are restricted to $200 million per accident under the federal Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act. At the time of the crash, lawyers estimated that damages could be as much as $500 million.
Metrolink also says in its answer that the “injuries were caused in whole or in part by the wrongful, negligent, criminal conduct, tortuous conduct, and/or carelessness and lack of due care on the part of third parties for which this answering Defendant is not liable.” Metrolink has also filed a lawsuit against Connex Railroad LLC, the employer of the engineer of Metrolink 111, which crashed into an oncoming freight train operated by Union Pacific Corp.
The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the engineer, who died in the crash, had been sending e-mails moments before both trains collided. Thus far, only two lawsuits have been filed against Metrolink, also known as the Southern California Regional Rail Authority. Both of the suits were filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court. There have been 25 government claims filed against Metrolink and more lawsuits are expected to be filed once the authority rejects those claims.
Source: National Law Journal
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