Anyone who has ever been involved in a Connecticut train wreck understands how terrifying such situations can be. Railroad accidents often result in serious injuries to passengers or workers and, in worst cases, sometimes end in death. A derailment that occurred in another state in 2013 has been listed as one of the worst train wrecks in the company’s history.
Connecticut railroad workers and others may have read about the incident when a train engineer fell asleep on the job, ultimately leading to the deaths of four people and injuries to dozens of others. One of the engineer’s co-workers was paralyzed in the collision. Court proceedings remain ongoing as to who might be held legally accountable for negligence regarding the derailment.
The engineer himself sued his employer, alleging that an automated system to slow the train down should have been in place when a supposed health condition and a shift change caused him to nod off at the controls. Investigators say there is strong evidence that the engineer had been controlling the speed of the train in an erratic manner, even before he fell asleep. When the train left the tracks, it was moments after speed was registered at more than 80 mph in a 30 mph zone.
Railroad officials recently filed a lawsuit against the engineer, arguing that the sole negligence lies with him in the incident. The railroad is seeking $10 million in damages, which, it says, is what it costs to replace the massive commuter vehicle. An engineering systems consultant reported that the event recorder contains data that shows the engineer failed to perform his duties in accordance with accepted protocol standards and safety regulations. Those preparing for similar litigation regarding railroad accidents in Connecticut may wish to seek legal counsel before heading to court.