Transit giant Veolia refuses to pay more in Chatsworth train crash case

Rescue crews use heavy equipment to dismantle the damaged trains and continue to search for survivors at the site of a train crash on Sept. 13, 2008 in Chatsworth, Calif.
Rescue crews use heavy equipment to dismantle the damaged trains and continue to search for survivors at the site of a train crash on Sept. 13, 2008 in Chatsworth, Calif. Ringo Chiu/Getty Images

The company that employed the engineer blamed for Metrolink’s train crash in Chatsworth says it will not put more money into a victims fund.

Twenty-five people died and more than 100 were injured in the Chatsworth crash two-and-a-half years ago. The injured and the family members of those who died spent three months earlier this year telling a judge of the damage done – lost parents and breadwinners, careers lost to brain and other injuries.

The federal investigation into the crash put the blame on the Metrolink engineer. He was sending text messages, failed to see a red light and slammed his train into a freight locomotive headed the other way.

A federal law capped damages the judge could divide to the 122 plaintiffs at $200 million.

Transit giant Veolia employed the engineer. Some California congressional members wrote to the French firm to urge it to pay more money into the victims fund.

But in a letter the “Ventura County Star” newspaper posted on its website, Veolia declined. It suggests that lawmakers look to other agencies, including Metrolink, that hold some responsibility for the crash.

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