The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is suing CSX Transportation and Cohenno Inc, a Stoughton lumber company, and is accusing them of negligence, for allegedly causing a 112-ton freight car to crash into a commuter train in Canton on March 25. The MBTA wants CSX and Cohenno to pay for repairs to the damaged train and cover overtime costs incurred by the MBTA and any other expenses as a result of the train collision. Damages are estimated at up to $1 million.
The freight car had escaped from a lumber yard in Stoughton, where it flew down three miles of train track before striking an MBTA commuter train and injuring 150 people. 120 people have already filed injury claims with the MBTA.
The lawsuit accuses both companies of failing to execute several basic security measures that would have prevented the Massachusetts train accident from happening. The MBTA is accusing CSX workers of failing to set the hand brake on the freight car and not putting a choking device next to its wheels-that would have prevented it from rolling-after delivering the car to the lumber company and storing it on a side rail.
The lawsuit alleges that Cohenno workers lost control of the freight car while trying to move it, which caused it to roll onto the tracks. The son of Bob Cohenno, the lumber company owner, however, says that workers did not try to move the freight car while it was in the yard.
The MBTA is also accusing CSX employees of failing to properly secure a steel gate that seals off the lumber yard from the commuter train tracks and not properly setting the derail device, which could have derailed the freight train so that it wouldn’t have run into the main rail line.
The MBTA alleges that the CSX has a habit of leaving freight cars without activating their hard breaks. According to the lawsuit, none of the freight cars at the Cohenno lumber yard on the day of the crash were properly secured.
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