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Los Angeles Wrongful Death Trial Underway in Case of Blind Man Who Fell Between Two Metro Blue Line Cars and Was Run Over by Train

December 31, 1969

Two years after the mother of Cameron Cuthbertson filed her Los Angeles wrongful death lawsuit against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the trial for the civil case is now under way. Mary Cuthbertson claims that her son wouldn't have fallen between the two cars of a Metro Blue Line train if only the MTA had put barriers between the cars and the train operator had exercised greater caution before leaving the Del Amo Station on January 28, 2009.

Cameron was blind. Per his mother's wrongful death complaint, he fell into the gap because he thought he was stepping into the opening of a car door. The 48-year-old man died from the injuries he sustained when he was struck and run over by the train left as it left the station. Some of the people who were on that train reported hearing him scream for help.

According to ABC's Eyewitness News in 2009, MTA video footage shows Cuthbertson trying to pull himself back onto the platform. The family's attorney says that the accident severed the Compton man's body in half.

While federal law mandates that the MTA put into place systems to warn or prevent persons from ending up off the platform and between train cars, its Blue Line opened 12 days before the American Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990.

At the opening of the civil trial, Mary Cuthbertson's Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer argued that the MTA had spent decades discriminating against blind passengers. He also questioned its decision to make train operators responsible for deciding when it was safe for a train to leave a station.

Unfortunately, accidents do happen at train stations. It is important that metro transit authorities and workers do what is necessary to make sure that no one gets caught in a train door, falls onto the railroad tracks, ends up stuck between train cars, or gets hit by a train. There are safety measures and procedures that can be implemented to ensure that these injury accidents don't happen. Train and station employees should also be properly trained so that they can execute the necessary checks and preventive measures. When negligence results in serious injury or death, the victim or his/her family may have grounds for a Los Angeles injury lawsuit.

Attorney's opening statement faults MTA Blue Line safety measures, Daily Breeze, June 23, 2011

Could MTA barriers have prevented death?, ABCLocal, October 22, 2009

Related Web Resources:

American Disabilities Act

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority

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