Y'all Knew It Was Comin'... First Lawsuits Filed In CTA Blue Line Derailment
by Mike Love,posted Mar 26 2014 1:51PM
Lawsuits against the CTA emerged Tuesday over the Blue Line train derailment a day earlier at the O’Hare International Airport stop that injured more than 30 people.
Airport newsstand employee Niakesha Thomas, 23, and Dalila Jefferson, a 23-year-old airport security worker, filed lawsuits claiming negligence on the part of the CTA. The pair were commuting to work at the time of 2:50 a.m. derailment, according to their respective lawsuits.
Thomas’ lawsuit cites the possibility of conductor error, excessive rate of speed and/or a faulty brake system.
Thomas was nodding off in the third car when she felt herself being thrown forward and backward, said her attorney, Jerry Latherow. She was transferred to Resurrection Medical Center and was released later that day, but the single mother of a 1-year-old still suffers from lower back and hip injury, is receiving pain medication and cannot work, Latherow said.
“She is having a lot of difficulty right now,” Latherow said. “She’s concerned about taking care of her baby. She’s the sole breadwinner.”
Jefferson was catapulted within the first car of the train, injured her neck and head, broke her foot, and had to be extricated by the Chicago Fire Department before being hospitalized, according to her attorney, Matt Jenkins.
Attorneys in both cases said they want to ensure that evidence in the ongoing federal investigation is preserved.
“We’re seeking a protective order to make sure all data, record books, laws, camera-books, photos are indeed protected so that questions can be answered …,” Jenkins said.
Both lawsuits seek a minimum of $50,000 in damages.
“We just hope this lawsuit will provide answers as to how and why this happened so that something like this could be prevented from ever happening again,” Jenkins said.
A CTA spokeswoman reached Tuesday night said the agency doesn’t comment on pending litigation.