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WMATA Knew of Cause of August Derailment but Failed to Act

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.Washington, DC train accident lawyer

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 free consultation.