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Passenger Trains > Family of engineer killed in Oxnard crash sues Metrolink


Date: 04/01/16 11:29
Family of engineer killed in Oxnard crash sues Metrolink
Author: GenePoon

Family of engineer killed in Oxnard crash sues Metrolink
Los Angeles Times
March 31, 2016
by Matt Hamilton

> The adult children of the Metrolink engineer killed in a collision
> between a commuter train and a pickup have sued the regional rail
> agency and Union Pacific Railroad Co., alleging that negligence in
> the design and operation of the rail car led to their 62-year-old
> father’s death.
>
> In a complaint filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Shawn and
> Kara Steele seek compensation for the medical care and burial of
> their late father, Glenn Steele, who at the time of his death was
> considered the most senior engineer at Metrolink.
>
> Steele died March 3, 2015, about one week after the early morning
> crash in Oxnard that also left 34 people injured.
>
> A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board
> released in March 2015 found that the pickup driver intended to turn
> onto a street but mistakenly veered onto the tracks. The truck became
> stuck and the train struck it, causing four of the train’s cars to go
> off the tracks, which are owned by Union Pacific.
>
> In their lawsuit, Steele’s children allege that the negligent and
> careless design and maintenance of the train led to the accident.
>
> “It should never have happened,” said Tony De Los Reyes, an attorney
> representing the Steele children. The train, he said, was “obviously”
> not crash-worthy.
>
> Metrolink spokesman Scott Johnson said the agency was aware of the
> lawsuit but unable to comment because it is pending litigation.
>
> “Our hearts go out to Glenn’s family and friends,” the statement
> said. “He was an experienced, hardworking and veteran railroader.”

Story, photo:

Family of engineer killed in Oxnard crash sues Metrolink



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/01/16 11:39 by GenePoon.



Date: 04/01/16 12:53
Re: Family of engineer killed in Oxnard crash sues Metrolink
Author: SP4360

He is correct,m it never should have happened. If you mistake tracks for a street, you certainly don't need to be behind the wheel. The cab cars have a fault with that shit metal pilot, but if said driver stopped as soon as he made the turn and backed up, this would be a non issue, instead of continuing to drive until the truck got stuck. Accident is 100% driver's fault. 

 “It should never have happened,” said Tony De Los Reyes, an attorney 

> representing the Steele children. 

 



Date: 04/01/16 13:12
Re: Family of engineer killed in Oxnard crash sues Metrolink
Author: Lackawanna484

These accidents are not too frequent, but blind obedience to GPS seems to be making them more common.

There was an accident in Westwood NJ where a driver was told to TURN RIGHT, NOW, so he did.

Drove about a half mile on the Pascack valley line. He survived the low speed train crash.

Posted from Android



Date: 04/01/16 13:19
Re: Family of engineer killed in Oxnard crash sues Metrolink
Author: GenePoon

SP4360 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The cab cars have a fault with that shit (SIC) metal pilot...
=========================================================

As soon as Metrolink withdrew the cab cars from leading trains for
that reason, they opened a wide-open door to this lawsuit.

They had no choice, though. It's all part of the fallout from
a bad design.

Two potential defendants are not named in the suit: Rotem, which built
the cab car, and Amtrak, the engineer's actual employer.  They probably
will be included.  Another, Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez, the brain-dead
lemming driving the truck, is being ignored, probably because his pockets
aren't deep enough. He has been charged with manslaughter and sued by two
injured passengers.

He also has a prior conviction for drunk driving and fled the scene of the
crash.

 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/01/16 13:26 by GenePoon.



Date: 04/01/16 13:57
Re: Family of engineer killed in Oxnard crash sues Metrolink
Author: railwaybaron

After the crash cleared, a friend and I took a look at the crash site. We noted that the white line on the roadway sides ended at the grade crossing and began again after the grade crossing. It seemed to us that on a dark night it would be  reasonable for a stranger to assume that the break in the white stripe indicated a road entry. Some weeks/months later we returned and noted that white stripes had appeared where none were there before. Whoever is responsible for striping the street and/or the grade crossing should be interviewed by the railroader's family we think. 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/01/16 17:26 by railwaybaron.



Date: 04/01/16 15:19
Re: Family of engineer killed in Oxnard crash sues Metrolink
Author: Out_Of_Service

FELA Law is very defined but has a wide scope on what the railroad has to do to provide their employees a safe work environment ... everything from including work rule violatins by the company, to personal injury.claims, to faulty equipment, to defective railroad appliances ( such as a mirror or window as examples) ...



Date: 04/01/16 21:36
Re: Family of engineer killed in Oxnard crash sues Metrolink
Author: atsf121

Is UP included because they own the track?

Nathan

Posted from iPhone



Date: 04/01/16 22:36
Re: Family of engineer killed in Oxnard crash sues Metrolink
Author: Cupolau

Looks like a case of "Deep Pockets".



Date: 04/02/16 03:28
Re: Family of engineer killed in Oxnard crash sues Metrolink
Author: Out_Of_Service

atsf121 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Is UP included because they own the track?
>
> Nathan
>
> Posted from iPhone

all parties involved are sued but every freight railroad has imdentity clauses in their contracts with commuter agencies to protect themselves from accidents ... 



Date: 04/02/16 11:05
Re: Family of engineer killed in Oxnard crash sues Metrolink
Author: SP4360

Well I guess it takes a masters degree to tell the difference between a road surface and railroad tracks.


railwaybaron Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> After the crash cleared, a friend and I took a
> look at the crash site. We noted that the white
> line on the roadway sides ended at the grade
> crossing and began again after the grade crossing.
> It seemed to us that on a dark night it would be 
> reasonable for a stranger to assume that the break
> in the white stripe indicated a road entry. Some
> weeks/months later we returned and noted that
> white stripes had appeared where none were there
> before. Whoever is responsible for striping the
> street and/or the grade crossing should be
> interviewed by the railroader's family we think. 

Posted from Android



Date: 04/02/16 14:38
Re: Family of engineer killed in Oxnard crash sues Metrolink
Author: CPCoyote

GenePoon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> SP4360 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The cab cars have a fault with that shit (SIC)
> metal pilot...
> ==================================================
> =======
>
> As soon as Metrolink withdrew the cab cars from
> leading trains for
> that reason, they opened a wide-open door to this
> lawsuit.
>
> They had no choice, though. It's all part of the
> fallout from
> a bad design.
>
> Two potential defendants are not named in the
> suit: Rotem, which built
> the cab car, and Amtrak, the engineer's actual
> employer.  They probably
> will be included.  Another, Jose Alejandro
> Sanchez-Ramirez, the brain-dead
> lemming driving the truck, is being ignored,
> probably because his pockets
> aren't deep enough. He has been charged with
> manslaughter and sued by two
> injured passengers.
>
> He also has a prior conviction for drunk driving
> and fled the scene of the
> crash.
>
>  I thought Metrolink contracted with someone else besides Amtrak for their operating crews.  Could be wrong.  Seems like there are multiple parties who could be liable here.  In my experience, the policy seems to be to sue as many parties as possible and see what sticks.   



Date: 04/03/16 16:14
Re: Family of engineer killed in Oxnard crash sues Metrolink
Author: hoghead22

GenePoon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
 Jose Alejandro
> Sanchez-Ramirez, the brain-dead
> lemming driving the truck, is being ignored,
> probably because his pockets
> aren't deep enough. He has been charged with
> manslaughter and sued by two
> injured passengers.
>
> He also has a prior conviction for drunk driving
> and fled the scene of the
> crash.

Very well said; thanks Gene.



Date: 04/03/16 21:02
Re: Family of engineer killed in Oxnard crash sues Metrolink
Author: Heymon

Here is what it looks like is happening:  The economic damages to the engineer's family are a certain amount, let's say the attorneys call it $5 million.  If they can show that UP or Metrolink have even 10% of the liability, that means $500,000.  That is what they are going for here.  As part of my work I investigated a very similar accident in La Puente, CA, where a group of Asian immigrants made a right turn onto the UP tracks next to Valley Blvd. at nighttime. (This was in 1991 or so).  They got stuck on the tracks a few car lengths later.  A witness saw the 4 people in the car, then noticed a westbound train approaching.  He ran over to try and get them out of their car but they would not get out.  He forcibly pulled one person out, went back to the car to get someone else, only to have the first person get back into the car.  As I recall, he was able to save one person and the other 3 or 4 were killed. They did not speak English so this is what contributed to this event.  The people that were killed had an attorney (who had hired us).  We inspected the scene and such, but there seemed to be no obvious issues.  We asked the attorney what his angle was since it seemed to be clear what had happened and he explained it like that (only his valuation was $10 million).  Any sliver of liability from a deep pocket on a large dollar claim means a significant amount for the plaintiff.  I never did find out how that case resolved but I've heard of settlements just to make them go away.  It is the way things are.  

Andre 



Date: 04/07/16 16:24
Re: Family of engineer killed in Oxnard crash sues Metrolink
Author: ProAmtrak

This gets stupider and stupider each time something like this happens!



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