The Jan. 12 Yellow Line incident damaged the electrified third rail near L'Enfant Plaza.
The Jan. 12 Yellow Line incident damaged the electrified third rail near L'Enfant Plaza.

The family of Carol Glover, who died following the Jan. 12 incident that filled a Metro train with smoke, has filed suit against Metro, seeking $50 million in damages.

Glover was among the passengers trapped in a Yellow Line train south of the L’Enfant Plaza station as it filled with smoke. According to a Jan. 17 report from D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Glover had a pulse as she was evacuated from the train, but no longer did once she was brought out of the Metro station. The Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority, which runs Metro, has come under fire in the aftermath of the incident. WMATA was well aware of the problem known as electrical arcing, which is believed to have caused the incident, and FEMS has stated that it warned WMATA prior to the incident that radio communications were not working around L’Enfant Plaza.

“As a direct and proximate result of Defendant WMATA’s negligence, Ms. Glover was trapped, helpless, in Train 302 for nearly forty-five minutes as it filled with smoke,” the lawsuit alleges. “During this time she fought, ever more agonizingly, to breathe as the smoke gradually sapped the life from her body.”

The lawsuit claims that WMATA breached its responsibilities by failing to inspect and maintain the electrified third rail and ventilation system, fix its faulty radio equipment, and shut off power to the third rail in a timely fashion, among other complaints.

WMATA could face upward of 50 lawsuits as a result of the incident. Glover was the only passenger who died, but 84 others were transported to the hospital, and 77 of those have signed on with the law firm Cohen & Cohen to explore filing suits. Glover’s two sons filing this suit, Marcus W. Glover and Anthony R. Glover, Jr., are represented by the firm Regan Zambri Long.

The full complaint is below:

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h/t Martin Austermuhle

Photo from the National Transportation Safety Board