First personal injury suit filed over last week’s CTA train crash

Last week, we wrote about the bizarre accident involving two Chicago Transit Authority trains. Some 33 people aboard a stationary train were injured when an apparently unmanned second train (also operated by the CTA) crashed into it.

The accident is still under investigation, but some victims are not waiting for the results before taking legal action. Just two days after the train accident, one of the injured passengers filed the first lawsuit against the Chicago Transit Authority related to the crash.

The plaintiff says she was one of the dozens of passengers injured at the Harlem station in Forest Park on September 30. She accuses the CTA of causing her injuries and injuries to others by “carelessly and negligently” operating the two trains. Her lawsuit seeks at least $50,000 in damages.

Meanwhile, the investigation continues. The mayor of Forest Park explained that “from all indications of a very thorough and comprehensive examination at the crash site by our investigators, they certainly are of the opinion that no human was on there.” He added that investigators are “mostly leaning toward some type of mechanical malfunction” as the cause of the accident.

No human was detected by the several cameras that videotaped the runaway train along its route. Additionally, the train somehow managed to slip past “an internal device that should have stopped it” as well as two switches before it collided with the other train. The investigation has been turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Although the exact cause of the crash is not yet known, it seems likely that this recent lawsuit will not be the only legal action filed against the CTA. As more passengers have time to assess their injuries and medical costs, additional plaintiffs may choose to file their own lawsuits or perhaps file jointly with other victims.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times, “Passenger sues CTA for injuries in Blue Line train crash,” Leeann Shelton, Oct. 2, 2013