Lawsuits against Metrolink pending

Adolfo Flores

As the one-year anniversary of the Metrolink accident that claimed 25 lives approaches, the lawsuits filed on behalf of the victims are still in litigation.

“Right now the focus is on establishing the responsibility on Robert Sanchez who was operating the Metrolink train,” said Paul Kiesel of Kiesel Boucher and Larson LLP, who is overseeing the administration of the cases.

There are more than 70 separate lawsuits filed on behalf of the passengers that were killed or injured in the accident on Sept. 12, 2008. However, the case is being handled as one mass action, but each case will be evaluated individually, Kiesel said.

“Obviously it’s a difficult time for the family as the one-year anniversary approaches,” said Kiesel. “There’s a lot of concern from the families for Metrolink to implement safety precautions.”

The cases are nowhere near ending, Kiesel said, anticipating litigation to last up to two more years.

Francisco Oaxaca, spokesman for Metrolink, said that the lawyers wouldn’t be available to comment on the case.

“It’s very early in the process, none of the cases have gone to trial, we’re in the discover phases and motions are being filed,” Oaxaca said.

“I think that it’s clear that the folks who aren’t responsible are the passengers on the train,” said Kiesel. “We’re trying to evaluate who was responsible on Sept. 12 and what can be done to prevent it from happening again.”