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Газета Express Январь 2016 #13.01.2016
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Номер и дата выпуска: №13.01.2016 (Среда, 13 Января 2016)
Периодичность: 5 номеров в неделю
Издательство: Экспресс Публикации Компания, ООО (Express)
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Язык: Английский
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‘I try to blank it out, but it's hard to'

Lawyers file lawsuit for 87 riders hurt by fatal Metro smoke incident

TRANSPORTATION

Eighty-seven passengers who were caught on a smoke-filled Metro train last January marked Tuesday's anniversary of the fatal calamity by suing the transit agency, seeking financial compensation for physical and emotional ailments that they said have afflicted them since the ordeal.

Two personal-injury lawyers said they filed the 87 lawsuits after trying unsuccessfully to reach out-of-court monetary settlements with Metro.

In the Jan. 12, 2015, incident, an electrical malfunction on tracks near the L'Enfant Plaza station generated a mass of smoke, engulfing a six-car Yellow Line train that was stalled in a tunnel. About 250 riders waited more than 30 minutes for rescuers to arrive, officials said, and scores of themwere sickened as they choked on the noxious fumes.

One passenger, Carol I. Glover, 61, of Alexandria, died of respiratory failure.

"We all thought we were going to die," said Dennean Baker, 48, who is among the 87 plaintiffs. "Just talking about it brought back all the memories," Baker said at a news conference Tuesday, her voice quivering. "Carol when they carried her out of the train - I don't want to think about that anymore. ... I start to cry because of the memories of the horrible time I was on the train. I try to blank it out, but it's hard to."

Asked about the medical and psychological problems her clients have suffered, lawyer Kim Brooks-Rodney, standing at a lectern in the National Press Club, read from a sheet of paper. "Asthma, pneumonia, dyspnea, bronchitis, shortness of breath," she listed among many others.

Brooks-Rodney, an assistant general counsel at Metro from 1988 to 1993, is now a partner in the firm Cohen & Cohen. She appeared at the news conference with lawyer Jerry D. Spitz, a partner in Ashcraft & Gerel.

The two said they are working together on the 87 cases, filed Tuesday in D.C. Superior Court.

"People need to think about 45 minutes on a smoke-filled train, how long that is, how harrowing that would be," Spitz said. "Metro's got to do better."

The lawsuits, which vary only slightly in their wording, do not ask for specific sums of money. "It'll be up to the juries to decide what's a proper amount," Spitz said.

"The NTSB is conducting an investigation to determine the cause," Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said Tuesday when asked about lawsuits. "Beyond that, we are unable to comment further on pending or active litigation."

PAUL DUGGAN (THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

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Вашингтонское издание (округ Колумбия) Express Night Out (Washington Post Company)

 

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