US & World

Congressman Gallegly introduces bill to allow Metrolink crash victims to sue for more money

Metrolink train crash
Metrolink train crash
Steven Cuevas/KPCC

A Southern California lawmaker wants to lift the liability cap on railroad accidents. The bill aims to help Metrolink crash victims sue for more money.

It’s been two years since a Metrolink engineer sending text messages while on the job missed a red light – and crashed into a freight train. Twenty-five people died and more than a hundred people were injured.

Most of the crash victims were from Congressman Elton Gallegly’s district. The Republican from Simi Valley has introduced a bill that would raise the liability cap in train accidents where there’s gross negligence.

The current cap is $200 million; Gallegly says that’s not enough to meet the medical needs of the crash survivors. He wants the liability cap set at $500 million – and he’s written his bill so Metrolink victims can sue under the higher cap.

Dianne Feinstein says she’ll introduce a similar bill on the Senate side. The California Democrat says“public transportation systems cannot be operated with gross negligence, period.” Feinstein’s office won’t have details on her bill until next week.