Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.

Articles Posted in Subway and Train Accident

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A worker was fatally hit by a train in New York City on Saturday morning. The victim’s identity hasn’t been revealed as investigators are still trying to determine the causes of the accident and why the worker was on the tracks at that time. According to the Gothamist, the accident occurred near the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) Queens Village train station. The worker who was a LIRR employee was struck by a Penn Station-bound train coming from Huntigton, Long Island.

Passengers were stuck in the train at for least an hour before being evacuated and transported by bus to their destination. Many of them reported seing blood on the train windows as well as blood, guts and flesh on the tracks.

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train accidents 2016 statistics63% of all train accidents reported by the top 10 US  Commuter Railroads in 2016 occurred in New York City suburbs. The New Jersey Transit logged 21 of them (35%), the Long Island Rail Road 10 (17%) and Metro-North 7 (11%). These numbers were released at the beginning of the month by the  Federal Railroad Administration.

Most human caused train accidents logged by the 10 biggest US Commuter Railroads in 2016  also occurred on The 3 New York Commuter Railroads. Of a total of 33 train accidents caused by human error, 67% occurred in New York suburbs, with 40% of them occurring on the New Jersey Transit.

human caused train accidents 2016 graphThe New Jersey Transit (NJT) which reported 21 train accidents last year represented alone 35% of all the accidents.  The NJT, the third biggest transportation system in the US has been struggling with finance for years. Funds that were supposed to be invested in large development projects were used for day to day operations. As a result, commuters were charged higher fares for overcrowded trains that often suffer delays.

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A train operator was injured in a train accident this morning in West Hempstead, Long Island, NY. A Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train struck a car on a crossing early this morning. The train operator suffered injury. None of the train passengers were injured. The accident happened this morning around 8:00 am not far from the LIRR West Hempstead Station. The service was temporarily  suspended in both directions. Investigators will have to determine why the car was on the crossing.

 

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Two U.S. officials say the engineer of a commuter train that slammed into a New Jersey station at double the 10 mph speed limit, killing a woman, suffered from undiagnosed sleep apnea. One of the officials says investigators are looking at it as a potential cause. The officials were briefed on the investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter. They told the AP on Wednesday that 48-year-old Thomas Gallagher was diagnosed with the condition after the Sept. 29 crash in Hoboken. Read More at Fox News.

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New Jersey Transit trainAfter a train crashed into the Hoboken terminal killing one and injuring more than hundreds, the New Jersey Transit has been under intense scrutiny. Steven Santoro took over the role of executive director of the agency 3 weeks ago. He was appearing Friday at a joint hearing of the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee and the Assembly Judiciary Committee, which together are investigating NJ Transit’s troubled leadership and poor safety record.

During the hearing, Santoro revealed that a federal investigation into the New Jersey Transit found multiple safety violations. According to NorthJersey.com the Federal investigators found that emergency tools and fire extinguishers were lacking on some trains. They also found that employees were using their cellphones when they were not authorized to do so.  Engineers sometimes didn’t blow the horn at grade crossings or didn’t perform brake checks as required. Additionally, locomotives were not proprely secured in train yards.

Santoro admitted that to operate safely the agency would need to hire at least 305 more employees. Additional funding will also be necessary. Santoro explained that the money allocated to construction projects to keep the railroad safe was used to pay for new equipment purchases.

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NYC MTA Subway logoOne MTA worker was seriously injured and another one died in a subway accident in NYC yesterday. The two men were working on the southbound G train track between the Fort Hamilton Parkway and Church Ave. stations in Kensington, Brooklyn. A little after midnight, a train running on the track struck them both. Emergency workers rushed to the location of the accident. One of the workers, a 53 year old man was transported to the hospital in critical condition. He later died from his injuries. The other worker, a 49 year old man, was also transported to the hospital. He was seriously injured but in stable condition. It is not clear why the two men were working on the track when the  subway train was in service. Read more in the NY Daily News

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LIRR_Train33 people suffered personal injury in a train crash in Long Island, NY on Saturday night. A Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train carrying 600 passengers sideswiped a maintenance train and derailed just East of the New Hide Park station in Nassau County. The accident occurred around 9:00 pm. The Huntington Bound passenger train was coming from New York City. After the crash, scared passengers were trapped in the dark for up to an hour until they could be rescued. Among the people injured, 27 were passengers and 7 were workers. The New York Times reported 4 serious injuries.

In a press conference, NY Governor Cuomo told reporters that the accident could have been worse. He also said that the maintenance train violated clearance and intruded into the space of the commuter train. The passenger train sideswiped the maintenance train causing some cars to derail. Yellow paint from the maintenance train was found on the passenger train where the side swipe occurred.

Further investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board  will determine why the maintenance train violated clearance. Regulations related to operation of work equipment are different than regulations related to operation of passenger trains. According to Union sources the maintenance train was operated by a non union LIRR employee.

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OImage result for hoboken train terminalne person died and around 100 were injured in a train crash in Hoboken, just across the Hudson River from New York City. The train entered the terminal at high speed, crashed into the barriers and jumped onto the platform. The accident occurred yesterday morning during rush hour. Thousands of commuters were crowding the station. The impact was so strong that the concourse inside the terminal was torn apart. The ceiling fell onto the locomotive.

34 year old Fabiola Bittar de Kroon had just dropped her 18 month old child at a day care center and was waiting at the terminal to catch a train. During the accident, she was fatally hit by debris. A little more than 100 people were also injured by flying debris. More than 70 of them had to be transported to the hospital to be treated.  The young woman who was killed was a Brazilian lawyer. She had just moved to the United States a year ago to be with her husband, a businessman who had recently been relocated to New York by his company. De Kroon’s husband, Dann,  was in Pennsylvania for his work when the accident happened. He rushed back to the city to pick up his daughter at the day care center. He was clearly distraught. He asked the owner of the center  “How do you tell an 18-month-old that her mother is gone?”

The terminal was closed to the public Today as federal investors are inspecting the site of the train accident. The National Transportation Safety Board is turning its attention to the train engineere, Thomas Gallager, to better understand what he was doing during the crash.  Gallager who was rescued from his crumbled cabin, is fully cooperating. Gallager has been a train engineer for 29 years. According to his neighbor, Gallager wanted to be a train engineer since he was a kid and was enthusiastic about how much he loved his job.

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NYC transit servicesSubway accidents and bus accidents in NYC are difficult to avoid.  As millions of people are using the subways and buses in NYC every year, accidents happen. People are getting hurt, sometimes badly. Sometimes they die. Some accidents are caused by the negligence of the MTA New York City Transit. Over the last 5 years, the agency settled or adjudicated 4,592 negligence cases for a total of $431 million.  88 cases were settled for more than $1 million. A case was settled last year for $9 million. The victim was 19 year old Ali Muir, a pre-med student. Muir tripped in a hole on a subway platform. He fell on the tracks and was hit by a subway.Both of Muir’s  legs were amputated from the knees.  It took 6 years for his case to settle. Many NYC subway platforms have unfixed hazards that can cause dangerous slip and falls.

Any personal injury lawyer in the city knows that NYC transit cases are not easy cases. 49 tort attorneys are working full time for the agency, aggressively fighting every case. The agency is taking the time it needs to fight cases  because it only has to pay a 3% post judgment interest rate. Other agencies and litigants have to pay a   9% post  judgment interest rate on the money awarded at trial to victims. The 3% interest rate is an incentive for the NYC transit to take the time it needs post judgment to take lengthy Appeals of adverse judgments in cases.

Cases take so long to be settled that sometimes victims have to borrow money to pay for their medical bills or for their living. This  happened to 36 year old Pilar Ortiz. She suffered serious leg injuries after being struck by a MTA Bus while riding her bicycle. Ortiz had to undergo 20- surgeries to save her legs.  She was represented by two of our attorneys: Ben Rubinowitz and Peter Saghir. Rubinowitz and Saghir successfully fought the NYC transit agency who was blaming the victim for the accident. The case went to trial. Rubinowitz and Saghir were able to prove to the jury that MTA investigators were lying. Ortiz won the case after a 6 year battle.

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20 people died and dozens suffered personal injury  after two trains collided  head-on on a single track. The accident took place in Corato, near Bari  in Italy. The two trains that collided belong to a local private rail company, Ferrotramviaria SpA. The company operates around 20 electrical trains in the region. It connects Bari, the capital of Puglia with regional towns to the north and the airport, operating about 20 small electric trains. It serves mostly students and commuters.