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Mother of Metro Victim Files Law Suit

AFRO.com, News Report , Dorothy Rowley Posted: Jul 13, 2009

The mother of one of the nine people killed on June 22 when two Metro trains in the District of Columbia collided, has filed a wrongful death law suit against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) as well as Alstom Signaling Inc., which provides computerized train traffic control.

According to the suit filed this week in District of Columbia Superior Court, Carolyn B. Jenkins contends that her 29-year-old daughter Veronica DuBose who was crushed to death in the mishap died as the result of negligent operation of the rail system, its failure to discontinue use of the outdated and unsafe rail cars, negligent maintenance and inspection of the braking systems and a dysfunctional train traffic control system.

Jenkins is being represented by the District offices of The Cochran Law Firm. DuBose, a certified nursing assistant, left behind two children ages 7 and 20 months. She had been riding on the train that crashed into the stationary train ahead of it.

The filing document states that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) warned WMTA in 1996 and 2006 that the unsafe rail cars should be replaced or retrofitted to improve "survivability" in the event of a crash.

However, WMATA chose not to follow NTSB's recommendations. The document further states that when the train control computer system was tested last week at the same location as the crash, it failed to detect stationary trains on the track.

"Veronica Dubose's family [which includes her father Erwin DuBose] has suffered a terrible tragedy and loss for which they can never be fully compensated, but we will make every effort to see that justice is done," said Stephen D. Annand, the law firm's managing attorney.

David E. Haynes, also with the Cochran Firm, added that, "knowing that this tragedy was preventable makes it particularly egregious."

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