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Is design of train platform to blame for man's death?

Riders on one New Jersey train experienced an unexpected delay earlier this week. The train stopped after it struck and killed a man who while standing on the train platform, leaned into the path of the oncoming train. In addition to his death several others were injured when they were struck by flying debris.  Three of those individuals were transported to an area hospital following the incident for treatment. Fortunately none of those injuries were described as life-threatening. In addition, none of the approximately 300 train passengers were hurt in the accident either. 

It is unclear why the man was leaning from the platform. Witnesses indicated that he did not actually step onto the tracks. Though the train quickly stopped, it was too late. Following the tragic incident an investigation was commenced.

While passengers indicated that there is a sign that warns riders waiting on the platform to stay back, there is nothing to physically keep people back. At least one rider indicated that it would be a good idea to erect some sort of barrier. It is unclear whether this has been an issue in the past.

In situations where the negligence of another party is deemed to have played a role in the death of a person it is possible that a wrongful death lawsuit could be filed against that party by the family of the person who died. Though unclear whether negligence on the part of another was to blame for this incident, his family might decide to take such an action. The basis could be that the platform design is defective and unsafe. Whether this will happen remains to be seen.

Source: CBS New York, “Man Struck, Killed By NJ TRANSIT Train In New Brunswick; 3 Hurt By Flying Body Parts,” March 25, 2014

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