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Riders stuck on snow-trapped train sue NY agency

•  Recent Cases     updated  2011/12/28 10:28


Subway riders stuck all night in a train trapped by snow after a blizzard sued a transportation agency on Tuesday, saying officials told them it was simply "an act of God."

In court papers describing last year's ordeal, they said they had no heat, food, water or bathroom facilities while the Metropolitan Transportation Authority kept promising help.

The city was all but paralyzed when the storm hit on Dec. 26, 2010, with 2 feet of snow piled around an A train on elevated tracks in Queens. Inside were about 500 passengers who spent eight hours there in freezing temperatures.

The conductor refused to allow passengers off the train, "resulting in a deplorable imprisonment," said 22 of them named in the suit, which was filed in Queens state Supreme Court.

They are seeking unspecified damages from the New York City Transit Authority, part of the MTA, which runs the nation's largest mass transit system. The subway alone has a daily ridership of more than 5 million.

Manhattan attorney Aymen Aboushi said the stranded passengers decided to sue after a year of meetings with transit officials convinced them that suing was the only way to get the MTA to pay attention. He said he's handling the case pro bono in hopes of forcing changes in the emergency response system to avert a similar nightmare.


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