January 15, 2015 — WUSA9 reports that at least two victims of Monday’s deadly subway accident in Washington, D.C. plan on filing lawsuits against Metro.
The accident occurred near the L’Enfant Plaza station. The subway filled with smoke, which may have been caused by a fire or electrical arcing from the third rail. The cause of the incident is still under investigation.
One death was reported — a 61 year-old woman from Alexandria, Virginia, who collapsed in front of other commuters on the subway. Bystanders failed to resuscitate her with CPR. Another 83 passengers on the train were hospitalized, including two in critical condition.
City officials said the fire department and other units received 13 calls about the accident and went to three different locations. They tried to move the train back to the station, but were not successful. By the time passengers were evacuated, 45 minutes had elapsed.
Lawyers called the response “atrocious” considering that the subway was just 800 feet from the station.
At a news conference today, a 53 year-old victim named Malbert Rich expressed his intention to file a lawsuit. He described the horrific scene:
“You had a lot of passengers crying, cursing at the staff. Some were praying loudly. After about 10 minutes of that, I actually texted my mother and my two children, my final message to them.”
Rich’s attorney is Kim Brooks-Rodney, a former attorney for Metro. She has previously represented victims of another deadly subway accident in 2009. Brooks-Rodney said she plans to allege negligent maintenance, negligent inspections, and a negligent response to the situation.
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