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2008 Chatsworth Train Accident: Judge Divvies Up $200M to the 98 Metro Survivors and the Families of the 24 Passengers Who Died

December 31, 1969

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Peter D. Lichtman has announced how the $200 million compensation is being distributed to the survivors and the families of those killed in the September 12, 2008 Metrolink train crash in Chatsworth. 98 people were injured in the collision that killed 24 passengers and the train operator. Lichtman says that families of adult passengers who died will receive on average $4.2 million while the parents of minors will get about $1.2 million each. The Los Angeles train crash compensation for those who were hurt varies, ranging from $12,000 to $9 million for Zambian exchange student Racheal Moyfa who sustained a traumatic brain injury.

Judge Lichtman said that the $200 million, which is a cap set under federal law, not enough to cover all of the claims. For example, Moyfa will actually need $18 million cover the ongoing medical care she now needs. Other victims racked up medical bills of over $1 million so they could receive the proper medical care. Meantime, some of the victims' may be impaired for life because of post-traumatic stress and mental trauma. Lichtman also noted that the money to be paid to the families of the deceased could not possibly be enough to make up for the loss of life.

The deadly Los Angeles County train accident happened after operator Robert Sanchez, who was text messaging, did not stop at a red light, which caused the Metrolink train to collide with a Union Pacific freight train. Several trains were derailed.

Metrolink and Veolia Environment provided the $200 million. The latter's subsidiary was the employer of the engineer that federal officials blamed for the 2008 Chatsworth train crash. Earlier this week, members of California's congressional delegation wrote to Veolia asking it to voluntarily give more compensation. The Los Angeles injury attorneys for the victims had sought at least $320 million.

California Train Accidents
You need to work with a Los Angeles train collision lawyer that knows how to figure out who and what caused the crash. Was it operator error? Did crossing signals malfunction? Did the train malfunction? Was a motor vehicle driver careless and drive onto the tracks even though it was evident that there was a train approaching? Did distracted driving or drunk driving play a role?

Injuries from a train accident, if one is fortunate to survive, can be catastrophic. There may be massive medical bills and other expenses that should be covered by the liable party or parties.

Families of Metrolink crash dead to get average of $4.2 million, Los Angeles Times, July 14, 2011

Judge says $200M LA train crash award falls short,, July 14, 2011

Families of Metrolink crash dead to get average of $4.2 million, July 14, 2011

Related Web Resources:
See those who died, Los Angeles Times


More Blog Posts:
Metrolink Train Engineer Involved in Deadly Chatsworth Train Crash Sent Text Messages Prior to Running Red Light and Colliding with Other Train, Confirm NTSB Investigators, California Injury Lawyers, January 21, 2010

Metrolink Chatsworth Train Accident Victims Have Until March 12 to File Claims Against Government That Could Allow for Southern California Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Lawsuits, California Injury Lawyers, February 19, 2009

Metrolink Tentatively Agrees to $39 Million Los Angeles County Train Accident Settlement Over Deadly 2005 Glendale Derailment, California Injury Lawyers, December 30, 2009