First Suits Filed for DC Metro Crash

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The first claims have been filed for the June 22 Metro crash on the Red Line, accusing the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority of gross negligence after safety recommendations by the National Transportation Safety Board were ignored, according to families of those who died.

     The complaints cite several recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board to strengthen Metro rail cars after a pair of crashes, one in 1996 and again in 2004, which prompted inspections. The families say WMATA declined to follow the recommendations, claiming it could not afford to make the repairs.
     The families say many of the Metro cars date back to the system’s beginning in the early 1970s.
     The mother of a woman killed in the crash – one of 9 fatalities – seeks $25 million for wrongful death. Carolyn Jenkins, the other of Veronica Dubose, also names Alstom Signaling as a defendant, for providing allegedly inaccurate traffic control equipment and software.
     Another complaint, filed by a disabled survivor, accuses WMATA and the District of Columbia of failing to maintain rail car braking systems and refusing to retire old cars. Bernea Lajuan Bell asks the court for $20 million.
     Jenkins is represented by David Haynes with The Cochran Firm of Washington, D.C.; Bell by Keith Watters. Both complaints, and a third by a woman who says she suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome, were filed in Superior Court.

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