By Patrick M. Regan
The National Transportation Safety Board met today to announce the findings of its investigation into the June 22, 2009 Metrorail crash that killed nine and injured countless others.
An “anemic safety culture”, and “layers of safety deficiencies” made the tragedy all but unavoidable, according to Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “Metro was on a collision course long before this accident,” Hersman said. “The only question was when Metro would have another accident.”
Mr. Regan and the law firm of Regan Zambri & Long are one of the lead lawyers representing Metro passengers who were killed or seriously injured in this tragedy. “WMATA knew for years that there were serious safety problems with the subway system and yet they refused to take simple safety measures to protect the passengers” according to a statement released by Mr. Regan.
Investigators determined that Metro knew about the problems as early as 2005, when the same inadequacies caused a near-miss collision near the Rosslyn station. The operator averted a collision by hitting the emergency brake after the Automatic Train Control system failed to detect the train in front.
Track circuits in the Automatic Train Control system malfunctioned thousands of times each week, and eventually, Metro simply turned off the alarms caused by the malfunctions.
The Board also found that Metro failed to inform its technicians about the automatic train control system; failed to oversee automatic train control maintenance; and continues to use 1000-series rail cars even though they pose an “unacceptable risk”.
If you have questions about this post or want to discuss a potential claim against Metro, you can contact Mr. Regan by phone, (202) 463-3030 or click here to send an email to him directly.