The family of an engineer, who was killed in a train collision in Oxnard between a commuter train and a pickup truck, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Metrolink and Union Pacific Railroad Co., the Los Angeles Times reports. The adult children of 62-year-old Glenn Steele allege that negligence in the design and operation o the rail car led to their father’s death. In a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Shawn and Kara Steele sought compensation for damages including medical care and funeral and burial costs for their late father.
Injuries and Fatality
At the time of his death, Steele was considered the most senior engineer at Metrolink. He died March 3, 2015, about a week after the Oxnard train accident, which left 34 others injured. A preliminary report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board released in March 2015 found that the pickup driver intended to turn on to a street, but mistakenly veered onto the tracks.
The truck then became stuck in the tracks and the train struck the vehicle causing four of the train’s cars to go off the tracks, which were owned by Union Pacific. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that the negligent and careless design and maintenance of the train caused the accident and that the train was not “crashworthy.”
Wrongful Death Claims
For a wrongful death claim to be successful, it must first be determined if the death was directly caused by the actions of someone else. The act must be proven to have been negligent, reckless, willful or intentional. Wrongful death claims are commonly filed by the immediate family members of the decedent such as a spouse, partner, children, parents, or siblings.
These claims also be filed by someone who is financially dependent on the decedent. Some of the damages that could be claimed in wrongful death cases include lost future income, medical costs, funeral and burial expenses, loss of physical support, loss of love and affection, and loss of inheritance. In California, a wrongful death claim must typically be filed within two years from the date of death. An experienced Los Angeles Train Accident Lawyers can help victims’ families better understand their legal rights and options.