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See No Evil – Hear No Evil – Speak No Evil at the Metropolitan Transit Authority

If an organization was involved in a major accident in which several people were killed, you would hope it would learn from its mistakes and take responsibility for its actions.  If the organization is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the accident is the train derailment in the Bronx that killed four and injured more than 70 two weeks ago, it’s not clear the organization is heading in that direction.

Metro North Mass Transit Accident

According to an article in the New York Times, the MTA’s board had their first public meeting since the accident, on December 16. Safety issues came up, as they have in the past year.  According to the Times,

The meeting on Monday was held as the Federal Railroad Administration was to begin a sweeping review of Metro-North’s operations and “safety culture,” the first such inquiry into a passenger railroad in the federal agency’s history. The derailment has capped what was already a difficult year for the railroad. Other troubles have included a train collision on the New Haven line in May; the death of a track foreman, who was struck in West Haven, Conn., less than two weeks later after a trainee rail controller opened a section of track without proper clearance; and the derailment of a freight train on the Hudson line in July.

Despite these repeated safety problems, some of which ended up killing people, The Times reports board members largely praised the transportation authority’s leaders, including the chairman, Thomas F. Prendergast, and Metro-North’s president, Howard R. Permut, even while they questioned the railroad’s safety record. “He didn’t cause this accident,” one board member, Charles G. Moerdler, was quoted as saying of Mr. Permut.

“You see very clearly, firsthand, the impact of the incident on people’s lives,” Pendergast was quoted,  recalling the sight of victims being removed from the Bronx crash scene. He said he was involved in “soul-searching,” trying to determine, “What could you do to prevent a recurrence from happening?”

That’s an important question to ask.  Maybe one thing that could be done is to hold leaders accountable if their organization repeatedly makes mistakes that cost lives. Without accountability, there’s little incentive to change.

In situations like this, if an organization won’t take responsibility for itself, it’s often legal claims by accident victims that result in facts coming to light and organizations being held accountable financially by the courts for their negligence and the harm they inflicted. Time will tell how this will play out for the MTA.

Contact the Law Office of Michael J. Hood, LLC

If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries in a mass transit accident, contact our office online or call our office at (302) 777-1000. There is no charge or obligation for your first visit. Our office is open Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., but we will meet with you evenings or weekends upon request. We will travel to your home or the hospital if necessary.

The Law Office of Michael J. Hood represents accident & injury victims throughout Delaware and Pennsylvania including individuals in New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County in Delaware. Also Delaware county, Chester county and Philadelphia county in PA.