La Crescenta resident Robert Sanchez, the Metrolink train’s engineer, was also killed as were three workers in Burbank: 59-year-old Public Works mechanic Alan Buckley; Walter Fuller, 54, a traffic control manager at Bob Hope Airport; and Dean Brower, 51, an employee at the city’s water reclamation plant.
So far no family members of the local victims have joined in the legal action.
Five more lawsuits in total were filed Tuesday against the beleaguered rail agency.
“We’re not going to leave any stone unturned,” said Brian Panish, an attorney representing 14 victims of the Metrolink crash, including Wiederkehr. “We hope this will send a message.”
Since 2002, 38 passengers and crew members have died in four major Metrolink crashes, contributing to the agency’s dubious distinction of having the worst safety record of all commuter railroads in the U.S.
And those figures don’t include the numerous pedestrians and motorists hit and killed — either by their own designs or by accident — on the agency’s roughly 350 miles of track over the years.
Most recently, a 39-year-old North Hollywood woman was struck and killed by a Metrolink train in Burbank on Jan. 10. Authorities said the incident was likely a suicide.
Metrolink spokesman Francisco Oaxaca said it was the policy of the agency to not comment on pending litigation.
In the complaint filed on behalf of Wiederkehr and his wife against Metrolink and its train-staffing subcontractors, Veolia Transportation and subsidiary Connex Railroad, attorneys sought damages for “great mental, physical and nervous pain and suffering, as well as disfigurement” as a result of the crash.