The December 1, 2013 Metro-North train derailment is still fresh in the minds of many New Yorkers. Traveling some 82 mph on a 30 mph section, the train jumped its tracks on a sharp bend in the Riverdale section, injuring dozens and killing four passengers. At the helm was engineer William Rockefeller, who told officials he must have slipped into some sort of trance while the train barreled toward Grand Central Station at dangerous speeds.
As reported by NY Daily News, one of the train derailment victims who was left a quadriplegic from the accident is now suing the railroad for $100 million dollars. Plaintiff Sam Rivera, a 39-year-old father of two who is now paralyzed, says he doesn’t hold a grudge against the engineer, and calls Rockefeller’s mistake that day a major tragedy.
Victim retains New York train crash lawyers to file suit
Rivera, a Westchester County resident and mechanic for Metro-North railroad, was taking the train into NYC with his teenage son when tragedy struck. As the passenger cars leapt off the tracks, Rivera’s body flew through the air, slamming into a luggage rack. Doctors say he has less than a one percent chance of ever walking again, and at present, has minimal use of his arms.
The spinal damage is likely permanent in nature, and Rivera will require 24-hour nursing care for the foreseeable future, says his attorney. While $100 million sounds like an exorbitant sum, Rivera’s lawyer explains that his client’s injuries and related expenses are also extraordinary. He now gets about in a $39,000 motorized wheelchair and needs major home modifications.
Rivera says that Metro-North has been very accommodating during the whole process, putting a handicap accessible bathroom in his house and starting additions on his ground floor to make his life as a quadriplegic much more manageable.
Train engineer suffered sleep apnea
Documents recently released by the National Transportation Safety Board state that William Rockefeller has “severe obstructive sleep apnea” that went undiagnosed before the Bronx train crash. While the investigation is still ongoing, the train engineer’s apparent sleep deprivation (his sleep cycle was disrupted an average of 65 times each hour) may have been a contributing factor.
On top of this, medical reports show that Rockefeller had faint traces of a sedative antihistamine in his blood. The over-the-counter medication, known as chlorpheniramine, is known to impair mental and physical abilities for tasks such as driving.
Metro-North railroad has been served with several personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits following the fatal train derailment, alleging the crash was the result of negligence.
NY personal injury attorneys offer free case evaluations
The law firm of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye continues to offer no-charge consultations to those who have been affected by the Bronx train derailment. If you have lost a family member or were seriously injured, you may have grounds for recovering substantial monetary damages through a wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit.
In an initial case evaluation with our New York train crash lawyers, we’ll explore your legal options and attempt to determine the value of your claim. Our offices are conveniently located in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Long Island. Call today at 1-800-469-7249.