Norfolk, Portsmouth & Hampton, Virginia

HomeVirginiaNorfolk, Portsmouth & Hampton

Email Randy Appleton Randy Appleton on LinkedIn Randy Appleton on Facebook
Randy Appleton
Randy Appleton
Attorney • (800) 752-0042

U.S. Senators Use Metro-North Railroad Accidents to Investigate Railroad Safety

Comments Off

norfolk railroad attorneyKeeping railroad workers and passengers safe should be the number one priority of railroad companies.  However as a railroad accident attorney I have seen railroad companies deny all accountability for their actions.  This includes everything from train derailment injuries to deadly mesothelioma exposure.  Now government officials are using information gained from investigating several Metro-North railroad accidents to improve track inspection and maintenance, crash standards for railroad passenger cars and protection of on-track work zones.  The railroad accidents being examined occurred when two commuter trains crashed in Connecticut, injuring more than 70 people. Five were critically injured.  Then less than two weeks later, Robert Luden, a track foreman, was struck and killed by a train at the West Haven station, which was under construction.

The death of the track foreman is very similar to a case we settled for a railroad conductor who suffered paralysis and quadriplegia after being struck by a train engine.  It takes experienced railroad attorneys to stand up to the huge railroad companies and their fleet of lawyers.  Which is why it is encouraging to see government officials including U.S. senators take an active interest in railroad safety.

Interestingly enough during the investigation of the passenger train crash it was discovered that a NTSB safety inspection found an insulated rail joint with inadequate supporting ballast and indications of vertical movement of the track system two days before the crash. The agency said sections of rail in the area of the derailment containing rail joint bars were removed and shipped to a lab in Washington for further examination. Previously, it said a joint bar, used to hold two sections of rail together, had been cracked and repaired, while a rail spokesman says it was replaced.

The investigation has prompted Metro-North to make safety improvements including hiring the American Association of Railroads to assess track maintenance and inspection programs, inspected all rail joints that were similar to the one in the area of the derailment and increased inspections using specialized equipment borrowed from other railroads.