March 20, 2023

2008 LA Metrolink train crash settlement: Victims speak out

Metrolink Train Crash 2008

by admin on February 8, 2011

Los Angeles, CA — A Los Angeles Superior Court judge will hear testimony from passengers who were injured in the September 12, 2008, Chatsworth Metrolink train crash and survivors of passengers who were killed in the accident. The issue before the court will be how the $200 million settlement fund will be divided among crash victims and their survivors.

Federal railroad investigators determined that the engineer of the commuter train was texting when he ran a red light in the Chatsworth area of the San Fernando Valley in Southern California and struck a Union Pacific freight train. The engineer, an employee of Connex Railroad, the operator of California’s Metrolink system, was one of the 25 people killed in the crash.

Veolia Transportation, the parent company of Connex Railroad, accepted legal responsibility for the crash that injured 135 rail passengers and resulted in 25 deaths. The railroad company agreed to pay $200 million to create the settlement fund.

Today, about 60 people affected by the Chatsworth train crash met with executives of Veolia Transportation at Simi Valley City Hall. The executives sat quietly while injured passengers and surviving loved ones of people who died in the head on train crash had a chance to tell their stories.

The Veolia executives who attended the meeting include the chief operating officer of its rail division, its chief of communications and marketing, and its general counsel. The train company execs agreed to the meeting after a federal judge approved the creation of the $200 million settlement fund to compensate victims of the train crash and release Veolia and Metrolink from further legal liability. The $200 million settlement represents the maximum amount allowed for passenger rail accidents under the liability cap set by federal law in 1997.

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