Mass transit accident leads to wrongful death suit

They’re powerful and dangerous machines that require skill and extensive training to operate. Unfortunately, drivers of these vehicles don’t always get the training they need and sometimes accidents happen as a result.

In October 2013, two California track workers were doing work on the train tracks when they were hit by a BART train—the mass transit system that serves the San Francisco and Oakland areas. The train, which was being operated by a trainee at the time, was traveling more than 60 miles per hour when it hit the two men.

On this maintenance and training run, the new employee was supposed to have been accompanied by a manager, but the manager was not in the cab when the accident occurred. BART, on their part, has since changed protocol and now requires the trains to stop, change course, or slow down when workers present.

Now, a wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the family of one of the deceased track workers alleging gross negligence on the part of the public transit organization. After an investigation, BART has been fined $210,000 by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health for the incident, who also reprimanded the transit agency for forcing track workers to be responsible for their own safety. They’ve also added new communication procedures.

Accidents like these involving trains, buses and other public transit systems are all too common in California. Victims of these tragic accidents shouldn’t have to cover medical costs, funeral expenses or loss of wages themselves. If negligence can be proven, a California attorney may be able to make a case for compensation for the victim or their families.

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