The second New Mexico wrongful death lawsuit has recently been filed against the Rail Runner and its governing entities. Both New Mexico wrongful death incidents occurred within a month of each other in 2007, and both miles south of Albuquerque.
While the entrance of the Rail Runner train and its scheduled extension into Santa Fe are welcomed additions for the Rio Grande corridor, the arrival of the commuter train with tracks through populated areas create a new danger for Albuquerque and New Mexico residents. Albuquerque and the surrounding area do not have much recent experience with frequent train crossings and the development of two wrongful death lawsuits shortly after the train began operation highlight this lack of experience.
Hopefully as the Rail Runner continues to offer its service it will better address needed safety issues such as train crossings. It is the hope of many of Albuquerque’s personal injury attorneys, that the wrongful death lawsuits filed will serve to highlight the glaring need for a safety evaluation. Typically Rail Runner commuter train operators are required to ensure that railroad crossings are appropriately marked, that tracks and mechanical systems are properly maintained, that operators are adequately trained, and that the train is properly loaded and traveling at a regulated speed.
Unless the Rail Runner resolves its safety issues, we may be in store for additional lawsuits arising from Santa Fe and the greater Albuquerque area.