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

Costa Levante News - - NEWS -

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.

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