Trapped train passenger's claim for compensation turned down
Father-of-one, 38, had both legs severed after being dragged 30 metres when his arm became stuck between closing doors at Vall d'Albaida station
By Samantha Kett A RAIL passenger whose legs were sliced in half in an horrific accident will appeal against a National Court verdict acquitting transport authorities of negligence.
The victim was riding the Xàtiva-Alcoi train in November 2007 when, on alighting at Benigànim (Vall d'Albaida), the door shut suddenly, trapping his arm inside the carriage.
He was dragged for over 30 metres along the track before his arm was wrenched free, but the train ran over both his legs, which had to be amputated below the knee.
His wife and daughter witnessed the entire gruesome incident.
The injured man, who was 38 at the time, said he did not hear a warning 'beep' as he was getting off the train telling him the doors were closing, and believes the sensor did not detect that his arm was still inside the carriage.
He says poor lighting at Benigànim station, the unfeasibly short time limit allowed for passengers to get on and off – not enough for disabled persons or those with suitcases or buggies to do so safely – and lack of attention by supervisory personnel were all involved in the terrifying event which he survived only by a miracle.
An attempt to sue rail board RENFE and train infrastructure body ADIF – both Stateowned – failed, and he appealed to the National Court.
At a hearing this week, the judge turned down his claim for €786,000 in compensation and ruled that no negligence had occurred.
He now plans to appeal to the Supreme Court, the highest contentious audience in the land.
Happily, the train victim has not had to experience life as a double amputee: 'super surgeon' Pedro Cavadas, famous worldwide for his limb transplants, managed to re-implant both his lower legs.
At the time, it was one of the first reconstructions of this type to be carried out in the world.
The Bengànim man's compensation claim is for PTSD suffered by himself, his wife and daughter, economic loss during his initial disability, and scarring and slightly reduced mobility he has been left with.