California Families receive millions after 2008 Metrolink crash

California Families receive millions after 2008 Metrolink crashThe families of 24 victims of the Metrolink train crash that occurred in Chatsworth, California, three years ago will each receive about $4.2 million through a distribution formula developed by a Los Angeles judge, the Los Angeles Times reports.

According to the news source, the $200 million, paid by the French parent company of Metrolink, was to be divided among the families of the 24 killed and 98 survivors by Superior Court Judge Peter D. Lichtman, which prompted him to write a 48-page judgment detailing the difficulty he found in doing so.

Lichtman's judgment provided a detailed account of the accident, based on the graphic memories survivors told him during the three-month long hearing, which took place this spring so that he could assess the needs of each claimant, the media outlet stated.

In the hearings, the judge noted that many of the 98 surviving passengers were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as other psychological damages that would most likely stay with them for the rest of their lives, the news provider stated.

According to the Times, investigators found the crash to be caused by the Metrolink engineer, who was text messaging while driving the train and failed to see a stop light.

While the families of the victims will receive $4.2 million, parents of young victims who were killed will receive an average of $1.2 million. Among the 98 people who were injured, some will receive awards as low as $12,000, and three cases were dismissed from the settlement, including one man who attorneys didn't think was actually riding on the train during the crash, according to the the news outlet.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, congressional delegation members from California are calling for even more compensation to be delivered from the French company, stating that the avoidable nature of the accident deserves more payment.