New York’s Metro-North and MTA trains and subways serve millions of commuters around the city each year. Many commuters come from Duchess County and other outlying areas, and hundreds of thousands of people use the subways each day to get around the city.
The MTA reports dozens of injuries and fatalities throughout the city each year. However, the MTA could have prevented many of these accidents.
If a Metro-North or MTA train or subway accident harmed you or a loved one, speak with an experienced train accident attorney immediately for a complete evaluation of your case. You may hold the city responsible for your injuries and losses and obtain compensation, but you will need a lawyer do do that.
Recent Metro-North Fatalities
News outlets reported a fatal pedestrian-train accident on the Metro-North’s Hudson Line in Peekskill just after 7 a.m. The most alarming fact about the report was that another pedestrian died in the same area the previous week, along with another fatality near Dover Station just a few days earlier. That’s three train-pedestrian fatalities in close proximity within a week.
Authorities believe all the recent fatalities were suicides. However, the tragedies raise questions as to whether the MTA, Metro-North, and other mass transit authorities are doing enough to keep their platforms, stations, and tracks safe for all.
Unfortunately, people may have chosen to end their lives by stepping in front of moving trains. The question is, though, is whether the city is taking measures to help prevent or mitigate these incidents?
After just one suicide, you would expect the city to take notice and implement safeguards against this behavior. After three suicides on the same line in nearly the same areas, the problem has certainly grown to warrant closer scrutiny of authorities, and many have called upon the city to act.
The news report mentioned that the MTA Police were investigating the latest fatality, but it did not offer any specific actions the city plans to take to prevent future occurrences.
To make matters worse, numerous harmful incidents happen in train and subway stations each year and along the hundreds of miles of tracks servicing the greater NYC metropolitan area. If the city won’t do enough to make stations, platforms, and track areas safe for everyone, it leaves itself open to injury and wrongful death claims and lawsuits.
Other Preventable Injuries and Fatalities on NYC’s Train Lines
Along with suicides and suicide attempts, many other incidents harm or kill thousands of commuters and pedestrians every year.
Some common safety hazards include:
- Slip and fall accidents. Water, snow, and ice cause many people to slip on stairs, walkways, and other surfaces in and around stations if the MTA doesn’t clear, dry, or warn about them, and commuters can slip off platforms and fall onto the tracks.
- Trip and fall accidents. Commuters can trip over upturned platform pads or uneven surfaces that can cause them to fall into a train’s path.
- Subway pushes. While waiting on a train, many people suffer injuries or death when bystanders push them from behind.
- Violent crime. Subways and train stations also see violent crimes, including assaults and muggings. In just one recent year, eight murders and eight rapes occurred in train and subway stations, according to the NYPD Transit Bureau.
Other safety hazards include people falling between moving train cars and turnstiles and gates crushing or injuring people.
Safety Mechanisms Are Available
The MTA could prevent many of these issues. One solution employs either full- or half-height partitions along a platform’s edge with sliding screen doors that open only when the train stops at the station. The doors then close as the train departs to prevent anyone from falling, jumping onto, or being pushed onto the tracks.
Paris, London, Tokyo, and Sao Paulo have implemented these safety mechanisms and barriers with success. Vancouver, Canada, implemented a laser- and weight-detection system that constantly monitors commuter tracks, and the system forces a train to a stop if it detects something on the tracks that shouldn’t be there.
Many New York commuters have expressed concern that the city is not protecting train riders, and both native New Yorkers and visitors alike have said they feel unsafe when waiting for subways and trains. Calls for action have increased as the number of preventable subway and train incidents has risen. Reportedly, the only subway station in New York City with any safety barriers in place is the JFK AirTrain station.
MTA Responds Too Slows
The MTA has apparently investigated installing platform walls and doors since 2007, and in 2014, it conducted a feasibility study to install full-height platform screen doors, half-height automatic platform gates, or rope platform screen doors at subway stations. The MTA has also evaluated thermal imaging and laser systems that can detect when a person enters the tracks and alert train operators.
The MTA estimated that it would cost between $6 to $7 billion to implement the platform doors on the stations. Not surprisingly, the MTA has not implemented these safety mechanisms. It has chosen to save money instead of lives. An attorney can argue that this constitutes negligence.
Consult an Experienced New York TrainAccident Attorney
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one due to a preventable accident in or around any of New York’s commuter trains or subways, you may have legal options for obtaining compensation. You will need a complete and objective review of your claim from an experienced New York train-pedestrian accident attorney who can advise you of your rights and options.
New York City only allows you 90 days to submit a claim, and you will likely have to jump through many hoops to recover the compensation you need. Therefore, you must consult an attorney immediately to get started.
A lawyer can gather the evidence for you and file your claim promptly so you don’t have to worry about it, and an attorney can serve as a steadfast advocate to fight hard to hold those responsible for your injury accountable and help you get the money you need.