Negligence Lawsuits Filed Over Sept. Metrolink Crash

Four people who were injured and the mother of a passenger who died in the Sept. 12 collision of a Metrolink train and freight train in Chatsworth have filed negligence lawsuits against the company that employed the Metrolink engineer.

The lawsuits were filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Veolia Transportation Services Inc., Connex Railroad and the estate of Robert Sanchez, the engineer of the Metrolink Train No. 111 that crashed during its trip from Union Station to Moorpark.

The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages.

Sanchez was a subcontractor working for Veolia Transportation and for Connex Railroad, a Veolia subsidiary.

A representative for Veolia Transportation was not immediately available for comment.

One of the lawsuits was filed by Patricia Hammersley, whose 45-year-old son, Michael, was one of 25 Metrolink passengers killed in the collision. A preliminary federal investigation determined that Sanchez may have run a red signal light just before the crash. The engineer also had allegedly been text messaging in the moments before the collision.

Also filing lawsuits were Frank Kohler of Simi Valley, Eric Welling of Moorpark, Phillip Thiele of Simi Valley and John Freed of Camarillo, all of whom were injured in the crash.

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