A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the Chicago Transit Authority and one of its employees after a man fell on the electrified third rail and died in 2012.
The man died August 7, 2012, when he fell from the platform at the Forest Park Blue Line station. According to the lawsuit, the man and his companion had an open bottle of alcohol and an employee asked them to dispose of the drink but did not direct them to leave the station. The complaint claims that the man did not answer the employee’s instructions because he was “obviously” intoxicated, confused or incapacitated. The worker left the two on the platform to call police. Before police arrived, the man fell off the platform, coming into contact with the third rail.
According to the lawsuit, the CTA and its employee were negligent in their actions prior to the man’s death. The complaint alleges that the transit agency and the worker knew or should have known that the man was in danger of coming into contact with the third rail.
A number of people die each year from touching the third rail at CTA stops. In 2009, there were six such deaths; there were10 in 2010 and nine in 2011. The CTA said that in the vast majority of cases, the victim intentionally enters the tracks.