Family of train crash victim files notice of intent to sue

AP News
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Posted: Dec 20, 2016 2:53 PM

HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) — The family of a woman killed when a New Jersey Transit commuter train slammed into a station this year has filed notice of their intent to sue.

Lawyers for Fabiola Bittar de Kroon's family filed a claim for damages Tuesday. It's the first step in the legal process of filing a lawsuit in New Jersey.

The 34-year-old Brazilian-born lawyer was standing on a platform when she was killed by falling debris in the Sept. 29 crash in Hoboken. It occurred just minutes after she had dropped off her 2-year-old daughter at day care.

More than 100 people were injured in the crash. It was later revealed that the engineer suffered from sleep apnea.

An NJ Transit spokeswoman didn't respond to a request for comment on the filing. The agency usually does not comment on pending legislation.

One of the lawyers representing the family said the lawsuit will seek all compensatory damages allowed under law.

"This is the first step on the road to achieving just compensation for the family of Fabiola Bittar de Kroon, a loving young mother, spouse and talented lawyer who tragically and unnecessarily died in the horrific Hoboken crash," Tom Kline said.

The filing names the train's engineer and the NJ Transit employees involved in the decision not to implement necessary safety technology and improvements, including positive train control. It also includes assertions that NJ Transit should be held responsible for requiring only one crew member in a driving cab or locomotive during a train's entry into the Hoboken Terminal. A two-crewmember requirement has since been implemented by the agency.

It also says the agency failed to properly and adequately screen for, monitor and treat medical issues.