Would a 24-year-old man still be alive had a different and more effective protocol been followed by the MTA after a subway accident? That is the question in a recent highly debated lawsuit filed by the mother of a man who died after being hit by a subway train this past November.
Authorities were called to a train station when the man jumped onto the tracks around 6 a.m. that morning, but after a 40 minute search, no one was found and the trains began running as usual. The man was struck and killed nearly two hours later.
Now his mother is suing the MTA for $50 million. She believes that his death could have been prevented. The MTA used a slow-moving train to scour the tracks instead of looking on foot, which the mother deems would have resulted in discovering her son. She also is appalled that they only searched for 40 minutes and not until he was found. Both the mother and her attorney agree that the New York transit had the opportunity to shut down the trains and properly look for the man.
The MTA has not publicly commented due to pending litigation, but they will likely maintain that they did what was appropriate under the circumstances to find the man prior to reopening the subway tunnel. Yet, the question has to linger in officials heads. Had they shut down the train line completely and searched on foot with flashlights could they have prevented this tragedy? The question of whether their actions, and the search conducted, was enough is now likely be headed to a jury.
There are two sides to every story and, in this case, each faction believes the other party was at fault. Regardless of the outcome, the tragedy remains that a young man lost his life on those tracks that morning.
Source: New York Daily News, “Brooklyn mom sues MTA in son’s death,” Jan. 25, 2012.