Two more lawsuits have been filed on behalf of some of the 38 people who were injured last week when a CTA Yellow Line train collided with a snow plow that was on the tracks near a North Side stop.
Attorneys from the Chicago-based Clifford Law Offices announced Wednesday they’ve filed two additional lawsuits against the CTA, which allege that the commuter train was operated negligently. (Clifford Law Offices is a WTTW News donor.)
“This type of crash was completely preventable,” attorney Joseph Murphy said in a statement. “This is a catastrophic failure on the part of the CTA to crash into a snow plow on the same tracks going in the same direction on a sunny, warm day. Many questions need to be answered so commuter passengers know that it won’t happen again.”
The train derailed around 10:39 a.m. last Thursday when it crashed into the plow north of the Howard Street CTA station, according to the Chicago Fire Department. Twenty-three people were hospitalized as a result.
The new lawsuits were filed in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of Alishan Zaidi, who was seated in the first car of the train, and Zubair Hussain, who struck his head and was rendered unconscious at the scene. Both were taken by ambulance to local hospitals, and according to Murphy, Hussain remained hospitalized for three days.
Murphy’s office has already filed two other lawsuits related to the crash — one on behalf of 52-year-old Cleon Hawkins and another on behalf of 67-year-old Matt Jones.
The National Transportation Safety Board launched an investigation into the incident last week, and have identified a “design problem” with its braking system.
“Our team was able to determine that it was in fact a design problem. The braking distance should have been longer,” NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said Saturday during a briefing with reporters, adding that a “brand new” system on the same tracks would have had 2,745 feet to stop to avoid a crash.
CTA data shows that during November there have been 50 other times when its trains have had to slow down due to other equipment stopped on the tracks ahead, and none of those resulted in a crash, Homendy said.
Service on the Yellow Line remains suspended following the crash. According to the CTA, shuttle bus service is available between Howard and Skokie/Dempster, serving all affected stations during normal hours of operation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.