In December 2015, Washington, DC personal injury lawyer Patrick Regan was featured in a popular Washingtonian article by Marisa M. Kashino. In the article, he talks about his experience suing the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) over “big disasters and mundane malfunctions.”
Over the past three decades, Pat has earned the reputation as the person to call with a case against WMATA. He has handled more than 25 cases worth tens of millions of dollars in damages. Along the way, he has gathered valuable insight into metro crashes. For instance, the safest part of the train is one of the center cars. The front and rear cars, he says, are the most vulnerable in the event of a collision. In fact, during the last major crash in 2009, almost all of the serious injuries and deaths occurred in the front car when the train struck another train at 44 mph.
The 2009 disaster is the worst disaster in Metro history. Sensors beneath the tracks that signal a train’s location to workers weren’t working around the time of the accident, causing alarms to go off regularly that were eventually ignored by WMATA controllers. One of the times that the alarm was ignored resulted in the deadliest crash in Washington metro history, killing nine people, injuring 80, and trapping survivors for several hours before help could arrive.
After the accident, Regan was appointed the lead attorney in a group of consolidated claims stemming from the collision. Unfortunately, since then, the WMATA has not implemented any significant changes to improve safety. Its general practice of deferring maintenance until disaster hits remains unchanged.
Regan is also involved in litigation involving a Yellow Line train at L’Enfant Plaza that was overwhelmed with smoke when two electrical wires arced above the tracks, filling the tunnel with smoke. Rather than switching off the third rail, Metro’s control center told conductor of the distressed train to “stand by” and keep everyone on board. Forty-five minutes later, a passenger died of smoke inhalation.
Two of the tunnel’s six ventilation fans were found to be non-operational. The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the cause of the fan failure, and after the results come in, Regan will be allowed to begin discovery in this case.
To contact Mr. Regan or another Washington, DC personal injury attorney at Regan Zambri Long PLLC, please call (202) 753-4272.