Two Chicago Train Derailment Lawsuits Settle for $11 Million

The families of two passengers who were killed in a 2005 Chicago commuter trail derailment have agreed to settle their wrongful death lawsuits for a total of $11 million. However, dozens of other cases for personal injuries suffered in the train accident are still pending.

The commuter train derailment occurred on September 17, 2005 when a Metra train was changing tracks while traveling from Joliet to Chicago, Illinois.

Investigators for Metra and the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that human error was the cause of the accident, as the train was travelling over 60 miles per hour above the posted 10 miles per hour speed limit when the train accident occurred.

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Two passengers, 22 year old college student Jane Cuthbert and 38 year old research technician Allison Walsh, were killed in the accident.

The wrongful death lawsuits filed on behalf of these two passengers have now settled, with Cuthbert’s family receiving $6 million and Walsh’s family receiving $5 million. The terms of the settlement were approved by a Cook County Judge this week, avoiding trials that were expected to begin later this year.

According to the Associated Press, at least 35 other train derailment lawsuits have been filed as a result of the Metra train crash.

One of the positives that came out of this 2005 tragedy and the lawsuits is that Metra made multiple changes to their tracks, installed new technology to help prevent accidents and now require additional training for their engineers.

This year, in September 2008, another commuter train accident occurred in California, claiming the lives of over 25 people when a Metrolink commuter train collided with a Union Pacific freight train.

With a number of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits likely to be filed over the next year as a result of the fatal Los Angeles commuter train accident, Metrolink board announced on October 24, 2008 that millions of dollars in safety improvements had been approved, including Automatic Train Stop technology, the addition of more engineers and conductors and replacing incandescent light bulbs with light-emitting diodes on signals.

1 Comments

  • Commuter Train Accident Lawsuits Filed Over LA MetroLink Crash : AboutLawsuits.comDecember 30, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    [...] people and injured dozens of others. In November 2008, the families of the two passengers who died settled their train accident lawsuits for a combined total of $11 million, and a number of other personal injury lawsuits are still [...]

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