$1.8 Million Settlement In 2003 Metra Derailment Lawsuit

There has been a $1.8 million settlement between Metra and the family of a Plainfield woman injured during an October 2003 train derailment on Metra’s Rock Island Line.

Kathryn Kuk, her husband, and daughter were passengers on the train when it derailed; two locomotives and five passenger cars derailed, injuring 45 people.

Kathryn Kuk sustained multiple injuries during the accident; she has undergone two lower back surgeries already, and will require additional surgeries. She is said to suffer debilitating back pain, and otherwise is constrained.

Metra’s board of directors approved the settlement of the personal injury lawsuit on Friday. Metra had previously admitted liability in the case.

An excerpt from the September 18 Southtown Star article on the settlement, titled “Plainfield family gets $1.8 million settlement from 2003 Metra settlement” :

In 2005, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a report blaming the engineer for being distracted when the train went over the crossover much faster than was allowed.

The lack of a “positive train control” — a computerized system that uses global positioning systems and satellites to track train locations and can override engineers and stop trains before they disobey signals — also contributed to the derailment, federal investigators said.

Addtional details and possible updates can be found in a variety of media sources including the Southtown Star article mentioned above, and the September 18 Chicago Tribune article titled “Metra, Plainfield woman settle lawsuit from 2003 derailment.”

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