By: Joseph Cammarata
President Donald Trump has signed a resolution for final approval of the
creation of the new Metro Safety Commission, an oversight agency that
will be responsible for making Metro safer. The long-awaited commission
is seen as a critical move for public safety that will help address Metro’s
concerning safety record and seek to prevent serious incidents.
Following a series of safety failures in recent years, including the Red
Line crash at Fort Totten in 2009 and the
L’Enfant Plaza smoke incident which both resulted in injuries and deaths, the National Traffic Safety
Board (NTSB) made recommendations to enact measures for improved safety
policies and greater government control over Metro’s rail system.
In 2015, the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) was given
temporary oversight of Metro as an emergency response to escalating problems while local officials
looked to establish a permanent safety organization.
By making the resolution law, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia
will now be tasked with appointing commissioners and setting up the new
agency, after which oversight will be handed off from the FTA to the Commission.
The certification process is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Metro Safety & Victims’ Rights
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has extensive experience
handling personal injury and wrongful death claims resulting from Metro
incidents, and has represented victims in nearly every major catastrophic
train accident in the DC Metro Area over the past two decades. This includes
having represented a victim involved in a 2004 Metro accident at Woodley
Park Station, a victim injured as a result of a MARC
train derailment in Silver Spring, and the family of a victim killed in the 2009 Fort Totten
Red Line accident. In addition, the firm has represented victims injured
in the l’Enfant Plaza smoke incident.
Our experience representing victims of
train accidents and litigating against Metro have allowed our firm to accumulate considerable
insight into safety policies and laws governing public and private rail
entities. We have learned how critical and systemic errors can lead to
tragic consequences, which threaten public safety. By providing a voice
to victims and families who have suffered as a result of these incidents,
we have also played a role in prompting change and new efforts that prioritize
safety on our rail systems.
Having seen the evolution of safety policies over the years, as well as
the many accidents and incidents that continued to plague Metro, we believe
the new Metro Safety Commission is a positive step toward protecting the
safety of riders. Even as the new agency is set up and oversight transferred
from the FTA, Metro still and always will have a responsibility to ensure
it takes reasonable measures to make use of the Metro system safe for
its riders. When it fails to do so, it can be held accountable and liable
for the injuries and damages victims suffer.
If you have questions regarding injuries sustained in a train accident
or any other incident involving Metro and public transit, Chaikin, Sherman,
Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. is available to help. For a free consultation,