There have been six lawsuits filed in federal court arising out of the deadly crash of a metro train in Washington D.C. Nine persons were killed in the crash and 80 were injured. Metro is the subway system for Washington, D.C. Metro is responsible for the first $5 million under its liability insurance policy for such accidents. After that, coverage from a number of carriers kicks in and will be needed to cover all of the claims. Metro also has property insurance with a $1 million deductible. Metro has not disclosed the full extent of its liability insurance coverage. If liability exceeds the total limits, Metro will have to cover the remainder.
Those injured in last month’s crash, and relatives of the nine people killed, have up to three years to file a claim. But most believe there won’t be a great deal of progress in these cases until the federal investigation into the cause of the crash is concluded. The lawsuits filed thus far make a number of allegations, including:
• That a novice train operator, Jeanice McMillan, who was killed in the crash, failed to keep proper watch and failed to brake early enough;
• That Ms. McMillan was not properly trained and supervised;
• That the train was traveling too fast; and
• That Metro failed to properly maintain the braking and computer systems designed to prevent crashes.
At least one of the lawsuits names Alstom Signaling as a defendant, saying that company was responsible for a malfunctioning circuit that failed to detect that Ms. McMillan’s train was speeding toward a stopped train. Federal investigators say the emergency brakes on Ms. McMillan’s train were engaged about 425 feet before impact. Investigators will conduct tests to establish when she would have been able to see the stopped train ahead of her and to measure that against the point where the brakes were deployed.
Source: Washington Post
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