By: Allan M. Siegel
In early July, WMATA found a flaw in the rail system, a flaw that should
have prompted an immediate shutdown of the section of the rail. Instead,
WMATA continued to run trains on the section until a train derailed in
early August. The defect that caused the derailment, called a “wide
gauge,” causes a train’s wheels to lose contact with the rails.
The defect was found during a routine inspection on July 9, and should
have been a recognized as a “code black” defect, and the section
should have been immediately taken out of service.
The fact that WMATA knew about the defect, and failed to take action, is
both infuriating yet not surprising at all. Since the January WMATA incident
that resulted in the death of one passenger and injuries to countless
others, this is just another reminder of WMATA’s continued failure
to learn from the past. In fact, the NTSB, in investigating the January
incident, found that even when WMATA made repairs following the incident,
it did them incorrectly. And once again, it was only after a derailment
that WMATA has chosen to act and is now performing a complete examination
of the system. Fortunately, this time no one was injured, but WMATA’s
decision to gamble with the safety of riders and employees is frightening.
This pattern of negligence and incompetence has prompted federal officials,
members of Congress, and elected officials from Virginia, Maryland, and
the District of Columbia, to meet to discuss WMATA’s problems and
how it could be corrected.
The attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., have held
WMATA accountable on countless occasions. We understand how important
it is to hold WMATA liable for its repeated failures, whether it is negligence
in Metro operations or by bus operators causing automobile collisions.
If you or someone you love have been injured in a
train accident or as a result of WMATA’s negligence and recklessness, call us today for a