Judge Orders Calif. Metrolink Liability Fund Deposited

September 15, 2010

A federal judge has ordered Southern California’s Metrolink system and Connex Railroad to deposit $200 million to compensate victims of a 2008 commuter train disaster, but has yet to decide whether to approve the settlement.

Judge George H. Wu ordered that the money be deposited by Oct. 20.

The collision of a Metrolink train and a freight train in Los Angeles killed 25 people and injured more than 100. Investigators believe the Metrolink engineer provided by Connex was texting moments earlier and ran a red light.

Last month Metrolink and Connex said they would pay $200 million — the maximum in damage payouts for a train crash under federal law.

Critics say the fund isn’t enough and there are efforts in Washington to challenge the liability cap.

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