U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton has ordered the unsealing of settlement agreements involving a deadly Metrorail crash in Washington D.C. Judge Walton says the 2009 Red Line crash, which killed nine people, represents “a matter of significant public concern” and that the public should have access to court records. The Washington Post, which reported on Judge Walton’s decision, sought access to the settlement agreements and other documents. The crash killed the train operator and eight passengers and reportedly is the deadliest in Metro’s history.
The transit agency settled lawsuits by families of the crash victims, but had refused to reveal the dollar amounts and fought to keep the settlement agreements under seal. Certain details, such as private medical information, are subject to redaction. A Metro spokesman says the transit agency is reviewing the Court’s ruling. I believe that the court’s position is correct. Confidentiality in settlements dealing with significant safety issues that affect the public are not good. However, when insurance companies make confidentiality a condition of settlement, that makes it tough for an injured person or the family of a deceased breadwinner to say no to a good monetary offer of settlement. We have clients on a regular basis who are put in that position.
Sources: Insurance Journal and The Washington Post
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.