A personal injury lawsuit has been filed against the Chicago Transit Authority by a passenger in the subway train that jumped the tracks and careened up an escalator at Chicago O’Hare International
Airport in March.
The derailment, caught on a surveillance video, propelled the train up an escalator toward two men standing at the top. Due to the early morning hour of the accident, the platform was deserted and no one was killed. However, more than 30 passengers on the train were injured, including plaintiff Dalila Jefferson, who was on her way to work as a security guard at the airport. Jefferson suffered back and neck injuries, according to the lawsuit.
“While it is fortunate that no one was killed in this incident, the people who were injured deserve compensation for the harm they suffered,” said Robert B
riskman, a Chicago personal injury attorney not involved in the case.
The National Transportation Safety Board investigated the March 24 incident. A union official told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that the train operator had worked a string of overtime shifts and was fatigued. The operator reportedly admitted that she fell asleep before the crash. Although the train
did not exceed the safe speed guidelines, the emergency brakes and bumper at the end of the tracks failed to stop the train. The crash happened at approximately 3:00 a.m., and the few passengers waiting to depart were waiting in another, stationary train.
Jefferson was riding in the first car of the Blue Line train when it crashed. She claims to have suffered a broken foot and other injuries, and she lost time from work. Jefferson also filed a motion seeking the personnel file of the train operator.