of 12 victims.
The claim is asking for an unspecified amount of monetary damages.
One of the claimants is the family of Scott McKeown, a former
Glendale City employee who was killed on his way to his job with the
city of Pasadena.
Metrolink has had numerous complaints and lawsuits filed against
it since the Jan. 26 crash that killed 11 people and injured more
The crash occurred after Juan Manuel Alvarez, 25, allegedly parked
his Jeep Cherokee on the tracks in an apparent suicide attempt, then
abandoned his vehicle before the train hit.
"What is unique about this claim is that the promises Metrolink
has made and the pledges they have made to the public have been
ignored," Aristei said. "As a government entity, they let us down."
The train that hit Alvarez's vehicle was being pushed from behind.
After the accident Metrolink was criticized for using this method of
pushing trains one direction and pulling them the other.
"Had Metrolink had a locomotive in front, this would not have
happened," Aristei said. "Instead of changing things, they are
defending the same old ways."
Metrolink has taken several steps to ensure the safety of
passengers, spokeswoman Denise Tyrell said.
When the train is in push mode, the forward section of the front
car, which includes 16 seats, is now closed, she said.
The agency has also been investigating the possibility of
implementing more effective methods to restrict vehicle access to
"To say we have done nothing is false," Tyrell said. "We are
looking into everything, we have a lot of concerns and we will do
everything we can to ensure the safety of our passengers.
"We believe there are better ways to go than eliminating the push
system. We think the problem of individual vehicles getting in the
right of way is a very serious and deadly problem regardless of
whether its push or pull."
Pushing trains from behind eliminates the need to turn trains
around and saves time on commutes, she added.
The families and victims of the crash had Aristei file the claim
because "they do not want any family to go through this again," he
About 40% of Metrolink staff members ride the trains, Tyrell said.
"We are not at all being casual about the safety of our
passengers," she said.
Do you think Metrolink trains are safe? E-mail your responses to
burbankleader @latimes.com; mail them to the Burbank Leader, 111 W.
Wilson Ave., Glendale, CA 91203. Please spell your name and include
your address and phone number for verification purposes only.