Survivors and families of victims from the 2008 Metrolink train disaster in Chatsworth on Friday morning attended a meeting in Simi Valley with aides from Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office to talk about getting the federal liability limit raised, according to ABC7.
Congress set the liability limit for accidents at $200 million in 1996.
"They put a cap on our lives. You cannot put a cap on a disaster like this," crash victim Patty Galtress told ABC7. See the attached video report from ABC7.
Veolia, the French company that was operating Metrolink's trains at the time, has paid about $54 million of the $200 million cash settlement, while the rest was paid by insurance companies and Metrolink, according to the Ventura County Star. An estimated 130 awards were given, ranging from $12,000 to $9 million, according to the Ventura County Star.
The accident, which took the lives of 24 people and injured an additional 101, occurred when a Metrolink train ran trough a red signal and collided with a Union Pacific freight train that had been given the right of way, according to findings of the National Transportation Safety Board. The Board also found the Metrolink train engineer, an employee of Veolia, to have been sending cellphone text messages while on duty seconds before the collision.
Last year Senator Feinstein spearheaded legislation to raise the liability limit for rail passenger accidents from $200 million to $500 million, but the legislation failed. Read more about the crash: