— 30-year-old loses both legs after being run over by an oncoming train as he laid unconscious on tracks for almost 11 minutes after falling onto tracks and striking his head; lawsuit alleges that train operator should have seen him —
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles-based trial firms McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP and Vega & Rivera, LLP have filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and John Delao, a train operator, on behalf of 30-year-old Patrick Chammas, who was struck by an oncoming train and suffered catastrophic injuries requiring the amputation of both his legs. The lawsuit alleges that Chammas fell onto the tracks of the Metro Gold Line Soto Station and struck his head, rendering him unconscious and his body visibly sprawled across the tracks for nearly 11 minutes, when he was hit by an oncoming train.
“LA Metro has a duty to protect its patrons, passengers and the public at large,” said Matthew McNicholas, Partner at McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP. “It is unacceptable that a passenger fell onto the tracks and laid there unconscious for almost 11 minutes, and none of the station’s employees were aware or took any action to help the passenger or prevent him from then being hit by an oncoming train. This entirely avoidable and horrific incident was a direct result of LA Metro’s gross negligence.”
As a result of the collision, Chammas suffered severe permanent and debilitating injuries, including but not limited to a traumatic brain injury; a brain bleed; traumatic injuries to his legs, which required amputations to both legs; and multiple abrasions to his back.
The lawsuit alleges the following:
- On May 26, 2018, Patrick Chammas was at the Metro Gold Line Soto Station, an underground station located at 2330 East 1st Street, Los Angeles, California.
- Chammas fell off the northern platform and onto the westbound train tracks, and struck his head when he hit the ground, rendering him unconscious. He remained unconscious, laying perpendicular to the tracks for nearly 11 minutes, when he was struck by an oncoming train operated by John Delao.
- The rail tracks the train was traveling on were straight for a significant distance leading up to where Chammas was unconscious, allowing enough time for Delao to see Chammas, or at least notice that something was on the tracks, and be able to stop the train prior to impact, or at least slow it down to have a much more minor impact.
- LA Metro and its employees at the Soto Station failed to ensure that the station’s platform was safely designed to avoid passengers inadvertently falling off the platform and onto the tracks.
- LA Metro and its employees at the Soto Station failed to ensure that there was adequate lighting to see hazards on the tracks.
- LA Metro and its employees at the Soto Station failed to ensure that there was a system in place to identify and warn rail cars of a hazard or human incursion onto the tracks.
- Delao failed to keep a proper lookout for persons, vehicles or obstacles on the tracks; failed to control the speed and movement of the metro rail car he was operating; and failed to take any action to stop or slow down the moving rail car prior to colliding and running over Chammas.
McNicholas & McNicholas, a Los Angeles-based plaintiff’s trial law firm, represents clients in the areas of catastrophic personal injury, employment law, class actions, sexual abuse and other consumer-oriented matters such as civil rights, aviation disasters and product liability. Founded by a family of attorneys spanning three generations, McNicholas & McNicholas has been trying cases to jury verdict on behalf of their clients for more than five decades.
McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP
10866 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90024