On a sleepy holiday weekend morning in December 2013, a Metro-North Railroad Hudson Line passenger train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station in the Bronx in New York City. The train was traveling at a speed of 82 miles per hour as it whipped around one of the sharpest curves in the area and hurtled off the rails, killing four passengers and injuring 61 more. According to the Washington Post, this deadly Bronx train accident was the worst train accident since 1991, when a subway derailed in Lower Manhattan killing 5 people and injuring 150 more, and the first accident in Metro-North’s history to result in passenger fatalities. “We were going so fast around that turn, something wasn’t right,” said a nurse’s aide from upstate Poughkeepsie who was on the train. “All of a sudden everyone went flying. We were dragging on the ground, people were landing on each other. Then there was dirt everywhere.” Early investigators quickly discovered that the train had gone into the curve where it derailed at almost three times the speed limit of 30 mph. The train’s conductor, William Rockefeller, admitted he may have dosed off as the train approached a tight curve while traveling at its recklessly high speed. Medical documents that have recently been made available indicate that Rockefeller had “severe undiagnosed sleep apnea” which, coupled with a recent shift change, caused the Bronx train accident. In March 2014, the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff filed suit on the behalf of nine of the injured victims against Metro-North seeking damages arising out of the Bronx train accident. The suit alleges, among other things, negligent operation of the passenger train. Metro-North’s behavior in the case has been criticized as burdensome on the victims of the Bronx train accident and unduly invasive. Mr. Lamonsoff was recently quoted as stating that investigators hired by Metro North have been videotaping his clients in their daily activities to determine if the injuries they claim are real. Lamonsoff is trying to get a court to order Metro-North to turn over the tapes, he stated. “They’re going to their kids’ soccer games, food shopping,” Lamonsoff said. “The goal is to get us to stop so we’ll give in and settle these cases. But we want to know what happened we want to know everything”. Mr. Lamonsoff is not alone in his criticism of Metro-North’s legal strategy. “What they want to do is resolve these cases and not divulge information”, stated another attorney of a victim of the accident. Metro-North’s spokeswoman declined to comment. If you’ve lost someone or been injured yourself as a result of a train accident or derailment, airplane accident, or other mass tort, you may be entitled to compensation. Injuries and emotional trauma from train accidents can last a lifetime. Call the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff today at (212) 962-1020 to speak to a qualified train accident attorney about your case. Our firm will guide you through your rights as the victim of a construction accident and the actions you can take to seek justice. Don’t delay in seeking the help you need.
Two people were struck and killed on the train tracks in Queens, NY last night. According to reports, the victims were both in their early 20s and were pronounced dead on the tracks near the Hollis station at 3:00 this morning. They were found under the 1:46am LIRR train from Ronkonkoma, which would have arrived at Penn Station at 3:05am had it not been stopped.
Police investigation and clean-up of the scene was complete at Hollis Station by 5:30am. The bodies were removed by the medical examiner. Police have not yet disclosed any suspicions as to the reason the victims were on the tracks at the time the train arrived.
No passengers aboard the train were injured. They were transferred to another train to continue their journey and the route itself suffered 20 to 30 minute delays until returning to normal service this morning around 8:00 am.
There has been a sharp spike in the number of train accidents in the last few years. This spike may not be solely coincidental. It may be the result not only of negligence but a trend of a laxity in regulation adherence and safety control.
The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff currently represents the victims of many of the recent train disasters that have made media headlines, including the Metro-North train disaster, the Philadelphia derailment, and the Halifax derailment – all of which caused countless injuries as well as deaths.
In the case of one Metro-North disaster, many passengers inside the train were seriously injured following a collision with a motor vehicle that had come to a stop on the tracks. Oftentimes the most severe injuries occur when the train passengers are jolted from their seats or hit with flying luggage and other debris that is sent flying from the shock of the collision. For example, when a person falls into a piece of wood or steel furniture that is bolted to the floor of a train car, it can cause life-threatening trauma to the body.
Many of our clients that are train accident victims have found their lives changed forever by the injuries they sustained in their railroad accident. In the case of one of our clients, 55-year-old dentist and retired army colonel, Denise Williams, the injuries were so severe that it has cost Ms. Williams her career, her mobility, and even her independence, as she now needs assistance to manage many day-to-day tasks.
In light of the recent unprecedented regularity of train accidents, the train accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff is monitoring this most recent tragedy in Queens in light of apparent trends negligence, laxity of adhering to regulations and safety control. Of course, we extend our condolences to the families of the victims of the latest train accident in Queens.
According to CBS News, there is now new evidence indicating that the problems with the New York City 911 system are worse than previously thought. The 911 system issues may have participated in the delay of first responders in the deadly Metro North Derailment that happened in December. [Read more…]