• Deceased Dover PO family sues NJT and engineer and others

  • Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.
Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

Moderators: lensovet, nick11a, Kaback9

  by Sirsonic
 
The engineer has a civil action pending against the City of Dover due to the response of the PD and prosecutor that night and their actions and so he is unlikely to speak to the press at this time.

I thought the article said that the family was also suing the city, in addition to everyone within 2 miles of the accident site...

The officer was dispatched to a fire reported to be under the Salem St overpass. The police dispatcher, it was reported at the time, did not notify NJT of any personnel on or near the railroad, and may have been distracted by another call that came in right after dispatching the officer to the fire scene. At the time the officer arrived at the scene, according to published reports, the train that would later strike him was just departing Morristown, and would not arrive in Dover for about 14 minutes.

  by Ken W2KB
 
njt4172 wrote:I said it before and I am going to say it again...WHY ISN'T THE FAMILY SUING THE DOVER POLICE DEPARTMENT?? Is it because this crazy family is trying to protect their fellow brethren who need to protect and serve? What a joke...! Isn't this the same police department that had all the corruption going on with their police chief 10-15 years ago? Didn't they just fire a couple of cops for snorting cocaine on the job?? Good job protecting and serving :(

It could be the families warped mentality that the big bad railroad needs to get crippled financially...you know all those annoying, loud, bad trains destroying our way of life! If the judge has any common sense he will throw the case out knowing that NJT was not at fault! I'm not holding my breath!!
As contained in the news article posted in this topic:

"The original notices of intent to sue had also named the Town of Dover, members of the town police and fire departments, and Morris County. McArdle said those were not included in the suit because "workman's compensation exempts them from liability." "

There is also a common law "fellow servant rule" which may be applicable. It basically says that an employer is not liable for harm caused to one employee by another.

Workers Comp laws were passed primarily to protect employers from unlimited liability they might otherwise have to employees and dependants arising from workplace accidents.

  by FireChaserE3
 
Seems to me that the township is definately at fault here. The dispatcher, no matter how hectic the dispatchers' desk may be, is responsible for making sure everyone is properly notified of the events at hand. As you can see in this case, one mistake can cost someone their life. I hope this dispatcher isn't still working for the township....makes me think that if I was in that town and needed help, he might forget to dispatch someone to my aid.

As for the engineer, the best bet is to keep quiet to the press until this is all over. The last thing he needs is for the officers' family to claim defamation of character next.

On a more personal note, I know personally through my emergency services experience that seeing someone die, regardless of the circumstances, can be a hard thing and not something that one can ever get over. I just hope this engineer knows that there are people who sympathize with him...and if he is reading this post and needs someone to talk to about it....Just post a msg and let me know.....I'll be more than willing to listen.

  by Rivetjoint
 
Without getting into the gory details, could someone please elaborate a bit about what happened to the engineer at the hands of the Dover PD? The impression I get is that it was not pleasant (or professional). What did the prosecutor do or not do? A truly sad story for all parties it would seem.

  by NJTRailfan
 
Firechaser, you're right about the circumstances of it being hard when seeing your partner or any member of a emergency services being killed especially in front of you, but this was a total accident on the part of the engineer and what the Dover officers should've done is checked themselves to make sure NJT/NS was notified — but they did not. They shouldn't have dragged him out of the train until NJT PD showed up but they did and mistreat him the way they did.

They way they treated was horrendous. It's not like they were arresting Osama bin Laden or Timothy McVeigh, but an innocent man who deserved none of this. They used him as a scape goat for their incompetence. I hope the NJT Engineer Unions will be vindictive when they will tear that police department apart with extreme hatred just like they did to the engineer. I also hope the conductors and passengers who were on the train wil testify against this out of control police dept. I do pray the judge will throw the case out and give whatever compensation the engineer deserves.

  by BlockLine_4111
 
NJTRailfan wrote:Firechaser, you're right about the circumstances of it being hard when seeing your partner or any member of a emergency services being killed especially in front of you, but this was a total accident on the part of the engineer and what the Dover officers should've done is checked themselves to make sure NJT/NS was notified — but they did not. They shouldn't have dragged him out of the train until NJT PD showed up but they did and mistreat him the way they did.

They way they treated was horrendous. It's not like they were arresting Osama bin Laden or Timothy McVeigh, but an innocent man who deserved none of this. They used him as a scape goat for their incompetence. I hope the NJT Engineer Unions will be vindictive when they will tear that police department apart with extreme hatred just like they did to the engineer. I also hope the conductors and passengers who were on the train wil testify against this out of control police dept. I do pray the judge will throw the case out and give whatever compensation the engineer deserves.

If NJT PD was right there a "dodge city style showdown" may have erupted.
  by henry6
 
I was thinking of this forum page Saturday as I listened to my scanner in Endicott, NY. It seems a woman who had been walking along the tracks, or on a nearby embankment, fell onto the track bed and ballast where she was cut by broken glass and jagged ballest. State and local police on the scene called to the 911 desk to determine if NS had been notified, and if not, to do so right away. The desk replied that it had notified the railroad and the railroad wanted to know if it should send its own police. Meanwhile I heard the dispatcher call an east bound train, I believe near Waverly, to inform them to beware of the situation at Endicott. The situation resolved, NS was again notified and trains cleared.

Although it was done in this case here, it does not mean it is SOP everywhere. A savvy cop and a thinking 911 dispatcher made sure everyone was covered and safe. Listening to it all unfold just got me to thinking about this situation in Dover and how no one seemed to grip the safety of the situation and automatically think to stop the trains: neither the cop killed nor his dispatch desk evidently.

  by FireChaserE3
 
Has anyone heard any update on this? The thread just seemed to have gone quiet and was wondering if there was an outcome on this lawsuit.

Jim F.
  by keithsy
 
I am reading this for the first time being absent from things. He is a fine gent. They ought to be ashamed of themelves.
  by erie910
 
In most states, anyone who receives Workers' Compensation benefits, both wage loss and medical expense, and who brings a liability claim against someone other than his/her employer likely will have a lien placed on any recovery received from the third party to the extent of Compensation benefits paid. In this situation, the recovery received from the third party not only has to exceed the Workers' Compensation benefits paid plus the contingency fee charged by the plaintiff's attorney, or the claimant receives nothing or even has to pay the plaintiff's attorney out-of-pocket.