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, contact us.