MTA Workers Looking to Sue Over Train Collision

By Josh Chapin
|  Thursday, May 23, 2013  |  Updated 8:48 AM EDT
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5 conductors and 2 engineers have hired an attorney to investigate what caused the crash and whether or not the railroad was negligent.

5 conductors and 2 engineers have hired an attorney to investigate what caused the crash and whether or not the railroad was negligent.

MTA workers who were injured in last week's train collision in Bridgeport are now looking to sue.

Five conductors and two engineers have hired attorney George Cahill to investigate what caused the crash and whether the railroad was negligent.

"He was thrown to the floor, his window was blown out, he was banged up pretty good, he broke his wrists," Cahill said describing the frightening aftermath of Friday's collision.

When the eastbound train collided with the westbound one, the engineer thought they hit head-on, he said.

"The engineer on the westbound train thought for sure he was going to die and it's a miracle he wasn't hurt more severely than he was," Cahill said.

These injuries are now the focus of a lawsuit Cahill might bring against Metro-North on behalf of five conductors and two engineers who were all onboard.

"They're all in shock. They're all very traumatized," Cahill added.

Cahill is investigating what caused this derailment and whether Metro-North didn't do its job, namely when it came to track repairs and inspections or with the wheels on the state's new fleet of M-8 rail cars.

"We're not sure exactly whether or not that repair has anything to do with the derailment, but it's in the same area," adding that "when wheel sets are too tight, it will cause the wheel of a train to actually creep up the running rail."

"I felt like I was riding in an old jalopy. Bouncing around and the M8s run better. They're smoother, cleaner," Marc Pelletier, of Middletown, said.

Riders like Marc said the derailment might have thrown off their commute for a few days, but they don't feel any danger riding now.

"We'll find out exactly what happened. I'm sure, but at this point, I feel safe," Pelletier said.

"I figure it's safer than actually driving, if you look at the number of accidents on the road every day,"  Jack Wolfe, of New Haven, said.

Officials from the MTA said they cannot comment on a pending or future lawsuit.

Cahill said they'll discuss the claim with the railroad and, if they can't resolve it, they'll go to federal court.

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