NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — An engineer who fell asleep at the controls of a Metro-North train and caused a derailment that killed four people in the Bronx has sued the railroad on the third anniversary of the crash.
In a $10 million lawsuit Thursday in Manhattan federal court, William Rockefeller said Metro-North was negligent and careless by failing to provide him with a safe workplace. He added the railroad also failed to install automatic brakes.
In addition to the deaths, more than 70 people were injured in the Dec. 1, 2013, derailment near the Spuyten Duyvil station on the Hudson Line.
The crash occurred in the Bronx as the commuter train went around a curve at about 82 mph. The speed limit on the turn was 30 mph.
Rockefeller’s sleepiness was due to a combination of an undiagnosed disorder — sleep apnea — and a drastic shift in his work schedule, the NTSB said in a 2014 report.
“We determined that the cause of this tragic accident was the engineer’s non-compliance with the 30 mph speed restriction because he had fallen asleep due to undiagnosed, severe obstructive sleep apnea,” Hart said.
The agency said the railroad lacked a policy to screen engineers for sleep disorders, which also contributed to the crash. It also said a system that would have automatically applied the brakes would have prevented the crash.
Metro-North did not comment on the suit, citing company policy, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
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