A federal judge in Washington has approved a settlement in one of two remaining wrongful death claims in litigation over a deadly Metro rail crash in 2009. The settlement comes as two personal injury cases related to the crash move toward a trial later this month.
According to notices filed Friday, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton approved a settlement between the family of Ana Fernandez, who was killed in the crash, and the four defendants – the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and three companies that supplied parts of the rail system, Alstom Signaling Inc., Ansaldo STS USA Inc. and ARINC Inc. The terms of the settlement are confidential.
The June 22, 2009 crash at the Fort Totten station in Northeast Washington killed nine people and wounded dozens. Eight of the wrongful death cases filed against Metro and the private defendants have now settled. The last one, filed by the family of Lavonda King, is still pending. Trials in the King and Fernandez cases were supposed to begin in March, but Walton postponed it after finding that media reports about the case and public statements made by counsel and parties had "poisoned" the jury pool.