On December 1, 2013, a Hudson Line commuter train operated by the Metro-North Railroad derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station in the Bronx. Our client, Eddie Russell, was a passenger aboard the train at the time of the crash. Russell, aged 48, suffered severe injuries to his back, including bulging disks at two points in his lumbar spine. These injuries required 18 months of physical therapy.
Physical injuries were not the only results of the incident. Mr. Russell also developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), leading to sleep deficits and clinical depression. Mr. Russell has undergone three years of counseling to help him manage his PTSD. Both his physical and psychological injuries interfered with Mr. Russell’s life.
Mr. Russell filed a lawsuit against Metro-North and its parent company, the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), alleging that the conductor operating the train at the time of the crash was negligent in his responsibilities. The plaintiff asserted that the train was being operated well in excess of the posted speed limit at the time of the crash; it was traveling at 82mph in a zone posted at 30mph. The plaintiff also asserted that the railroad had failed to implement safety procedures, including screening its conductors for sleep apnea, a medical condition diagnosed in the conductor that investigators say was the cause of the derailment. In the lawsuit, Mr. Russell did not claim medical expenses for his injuries. At mediation, our client and the parties named in the lawsuit were able to settle for $450,000.