LOS ANGELES – A man who says he fell onto the Metro L (Gold) Line tracks in 2018 and remained unconscious there for nearly 11 minutes before being hit by a train, causing him to lose both legs, has reached a settlement of his lawsuit against Metro, attorneys in the case told a judge Friday.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert B. Broadbelt canceled the scheduled Nov.16 start of trial of plaintiff Patrick Chammas’ case in the wake of the accord, the terms of which were not divulged during Friday’s status conference.
Chammas’ negligence suit alleged that train operator John Delao should have seen him and stopped the train before it struck the plaintiff about 9:45 p.m. May 26, 2018 at the Soto Station. Chammas has fallen from the north platform onto the westbound tracks, according to his attorneys’ court papers.
“The rail tracks at issue are straight for a significant distance leading up to where (Chammas) was unconscious and allowed for the train operator to see, notice or otherwise perceive Chammas on the tracks and to have stopped the train car prior to impact, or at least to have imparted a much more minor impact,” the suit filed in August 2018 stated.
Chammas, now 35, also alleged that Delao was “inattentive, tired, fatigued and/or otherwise distracted prior to, and at the time of, the train striking the plaintiff.
In addition to his leg amputations, Chammas suffered a traumatic brain injury and multiple abrasions to his back, the suit stated.
In their court papers, Metro attorneys maintained the agency was protected from liability in Chammas’ case by “design immunity,” which is afforded to public entities to ensure that they have the resources to build and provide a public transportation system without the risk that every incident becomes or could become a potential lawsuit.
“The Legislature has recognized that public entities cannot and will not be the insurer for every accident that happens or will happen on public property, which is what (Chammas) seeks,” the Metro attorneys argued in their court papers.