California congressmembers press company for more money for Metrolink victims

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Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Workers remove the remains of a Metrolink commuter train on September 14, 2008 in Chatsworth, California. The Metrolink commuter train was involved in a head-on collision with a freight train on September 12. 24 people were killed in the crash and a 25th has died in a hospital. 95 were critically or seriously injured. Metrolink is putting the blame on a Metrolink engineer who was killed in the crash for not stopping for a red light so the freight train could pass on a parallel track. It is the worst rail disaster in Metrolink history and worst in the US in 15 years.

A group of Californians in Congress is pressing rail giant Veolia to pay out more money to the victims of the deadly Metrolink crash that took place in Chatsworth in September of 2008.

The Californians’ letter is addressed to the chairman of the board of Veolia. The rail and bus conglomerate operated the Metrolink train that crashed into a freight train in Chatsworth nearly three years ago. Twenty-five people died as a result of the collision and more than 100 people were injured.

The bipartisan group, which includes California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein as well as several other Californian congresspeople, wants Veolia to pledge more money to compensate crash victims.

Veolia, along with Metrolink, has pledged $200 million, but the judge handling claims says damages have topped $230 million.

The lawmakers want the company to “step forward” so, in their words, “victims receive justice.” They cite the National Transportation Safety Board conclusion that says the “probable cause” of the accident was a distracted Metrolink engineer that ran a red stop signal because he was sending text messages.

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