$200M Fund for Metrolink Crash Victims

LOS ANGELES (CN) – Metrolink filed a complaint in interpleader to establish a $200 million fund to “create a quick, equitable, and efficient way to compensate” families and victims of the Sept. 12, 2008 train crash in Chatsworth. Twenty-four passengers died and dozens were injured when a Metrolink commuter train crashed with a Union Pacific freight train.

     “The payment to the Interpleader Fund Claimants shall be without regard to fault or liability of the Interpleader Fund Creators, and shall be made upon the release and discharge of the Interpleader Fund Creators and all other persons and entities who have been or possibly could be sued by Interpleader Claimants for death, injury or other damages as a result of the Chatsworth accident,” the complaint states.
     “The Released Parties specifically include the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the member agencies of the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, Veolia Transportation, Inc., Union Pacific Railroad Company, BNSF Railway Company, Bombardier Transit Corporation, Herzog Contracting, and Mass Electric Construction Corporation.
     “$200 million is the maximum amount available to the Interpleader Fund Claimants because a federal statute places an aggregate limit on Passenger damages of any kind at $200 million arising from any single passenger train accident. Accordingly, there exists a genuine limited-fund situation. 49 U.S.C. 8 28103(a)(2). A limited-fund situation creates the predicate for a statutory interpleader under section 1335(a) of United States Code, title 28.”
     Metrolink is also known as the Southern California Regional Rail Authority.

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