Last week, this blog discussed some past elevator accidents in Houston and beyond. This post reports on more recent elevator accidents and describes staps the state has taken to reduce elevator accidents.
On May 15, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion regarding the validity of a settlement agreement between BP and a man who sustained injuries as a result of the blast that caused Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. BP had appealed the District Court's decision finding that the agreement was valid.
Most of the attention to the horrific May 12 Amtrak derailment has focused on what could have been done to prevent it (delays in implementing an automatic speed control system) and the carnage it caused (eight dead and 200 injured, many seriously). Yet the wounded passengers and their loved ones can't dwell on the crash; they must look to the future as they pick of the pieces of their shattered lives and work to put them back together. Infuriatingly, however, Congress will tie their hands as they try to do so.
Houston has continued its attempt to innovate in the area of urban living. Begun last year, the city hosted the final Sunday Streets of the season this past week on May 17. The route ran along Navigation in Houston's East End. Prior Sunday Streets have been in Houston's Montrose and Heights neighborhoods. For each Sunday Streets, the streets are shut down for four hours for pedestrians and cyclists.
An older article in the Houston Press focused on elevator accidents in Houston, in Texas, and around the United States. It's a lengthy, detailed and sobering story. Not much has changed since the story was originally written, so this post will summarize it. Our next post will discuss the steps the state has taken to improve elevator safety.
One of the deadliest train derailments since 2000 happened in Philadelphia on May 12, 2015. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Amtrak train was traveling over twice the speed limit allowed for that portion of the track. The engineer lost consciousness after the crash and has no memory of any events whatsoever after attempting to reduce the speed coming into the curve (where the derailment occurred).
Countless personal injury cases are brought to lawyers every year, but many are turned down. Whether or not a case is accepted is defined on 6 points, according to John Day, a personal injury attorney from Nashville, TN.
In Philadelphia, an Amtrak train crashed and killed seven people. Over 200 passengers were injured. Investigators are trying to determine why the train derailed while rounding a curve. The speed limit just before the curve is 70 mph. The speed limit on the curve is 50 mph. One source claims it is believed the train was traveling in excess of 100 mph, which is about twice the 50 mph speed limit for the curve it was in.
The family of Ellen Brody has filed a notice of claim against the Metro-North Railroad, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Westchester County, and the Town of Mount Pleasant, NY for failing to install safety precautions at a dangerous railroad crossing. The attorney representing the family has stated that he expects to file a lawsuit in the coming months. The Brody family claims that the drive up to the intersection did not have proper lights and signs to give drivers any warning of the rail tracks. The notice states that the lack of warning at the rail crossing where the collision occurred is in violation of federal standards. Additionally, the state Department of Transportation had set aside $130,000 for added safety lights and signs. Yet no precautionary upgrades occurred at the Commerce St. Intersection, where Ellen Brody lost her life.
A recent article in the Houston Chronicle describes efforts made by the Houston Police Department to educate people about wrong-way driving accidents. Although such car accidents are relatively infrequent, they often result in catastrophic injury or death when they do occur. This is especially true on freeways and ramps, where speeds are likely to be much higher than on city streets.