When a person steps onto a commuter train, it is reasonable for them to expect a safe and comfortable ride. Mass transit is, by design, based on the notion of a safe transportation method for large groups of people. Whether the vehicles used are buses, trains, or other vehicles, there is a reasonable degree of safety expected for the riders and commuters who take these trains every day. No mass transit user expects that the bus will crash, or train will derail. Unfortunately for one woman in New York, this was exactly what happened.
The Case Against MTA
New York’s subways are held under the authority of MTA, or the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. This organization oversees the complex New York Subway system and is responsible for its proper care and maintenance. While it is rare for subway trains to incur serious accidents, when they do, the consequences can be incredibly harmful to any riders caught in the wake. Such was the case for one New Yorker who suffered a back injury when her train was derailed.
Sheen Tucker, a resident of New York City, suffered a back injury after the A train derailed. The train veered into the subway wall, resulting in the derailment of two cars. The sudden stop injured 34 people in total and delayed subway service throughout the entire night. Tucker was one of the 34 injured in the incident. She was hospitalized as a result of the incident and had blacked out immediately following the impact. Tucker was walking with a limp as well following the incident. She has since filed a $5 million lawsuit claiming damages for her back injury and psychological trauma.
Authorities say that the derailment occurred as a result of errors in overnight work that had been conducted prior to the incident. Allegedly, the train had struck a spare rail that was left on the side of the tracks, which resulted in the derailment incident. MTA has claimed that this incident was a result of human error and not greater design failures in the system.
Mass Transit Accidents
When a person is injured on mass transit, they may be entitled to some form of compensation. Mass transit companies often owe a duty of responsibility to their customers to keep them safe. When this is violated and passengers are injured in transit, there may be consequences for the authority that is responsible for the transit service. Sometimes, however, these services are run by a government agency, which can mean that a person must act fast when filing a lawsuit. For several states, the statute of limitations, or the time that a person has to file a lawsuit, is shorter for actions against the state or its agencies and there may be other short time limits too, sometimes called ante litem notice periods that are separate from the Statutes of Limitations.