First Lawsuit over Blue Line Crash

Leeann Shelton | October, 3 2013 | Vol. 66, No. 207 2013

A passenger who was hurt in the Blue Line train crash Monday filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Chicago Transit Authority. It was the first such suit stemming from the crash.

Thirty-three people were injured in the rush-hour crash when an unmanned, out-of-service train barreled into an occupied train at the Harlem station, officials said.

Plaintiff Kim Quatch’s lawsuit claims she was a passenger in the occupied train and had various injuries from the crash. The suit accuses the transit agency of “carelessly and negligently” operating both trains. Quatch is seeking at least $50,000 in damages, the suit said.

The CTA declined to comment on the pending litigation.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308 President Robert Kelly, who joined National Transportation Safety Board investigators at the crash scene Tuesday, told the Chicago Sun-Times that the train slipped past two switches and an internal device that should have stopped it before it rammed into a train loaded with about 40 passengers at the Harlem station.

Video from at least three different CTA cameras failed to detect anyone hopping on or off the out-of-service train, Forest Park Mayor Anthon Calderone said Tuesday.

“From all indication of very thorough and comprehensive examination at the crash site by our investigators, they certainly are of the opinion that no human was on there,’ Calderone said. They are “mostly leaning toward some type of mechanical malfunction”.

Because the NTSB is in investigating the apparent runaway train crash, a CTA spokeswoman deferred requests for comment to the federal agency Wednesday.
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