A jury ordered the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to pay Mary Cuthbertson $17 million for the January 28, 2009 death of her 48 year old son, Cameron Cuthbertson. Mr. Cuthbertson, who was visually impaired, mistook the gap between Blue Line rail cars for a door, fell between the cars and was crushed when the train began to move. Brian Panish and Deborah Chang of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP represented Mrs. Cuthbertson in her wrongful death suit.
Cameron Cuthbertson was preparing to board a southbound Blue Line train at the Del Amo Station around 9 a.m. when he stepped into the gap between rail cars, mistaking the opening for the door. Although Mr. Cuthbertson was able to get up after his fall and climb halfway back onto the platform, the train began to move, resulting in his death.
At the time of Mr. Cuthbertson’s death, the Blue Line was the only Metro line without protective barriers between rail cars, and the evidence at trial demonstrated that the MTA was well aware of the serious risk that the unprotected gaps between cars posed to the public, and, in particular, the visually impaired. Immediately following this incident, barriers were installed in front of the gaps between all Blue Line rail cars.
Read a poem “Panish/Chang Justice” written by Mary Cuthbertson, Cameron’s mother
This verdict is a monument to the visually impaired residents of Los Angeles, and the world. There is no reason accidents like this should happen when there have been devices protecting the blind from the gaps between train cars for over 100 years. This verdict will be heard around the world, and will create change. Cameron Cuthbertson and his mother and family are heroes.
– Brian Panish, Panish Shea & Boyle LLP
Blind man’s death on Blue Line train brings $17-million verdict
The lay minister was on his way from his Compton home to a church in Long Beach in 2009 when he fell between two cars, mistaking the gap for a door. He was crushed as the train left the station.
Beverly Hills Courier – Mother Of Blind Man Killed On Metro Blue Line Awarded $17 Million
The mother of a blind Compton man who was killed when he mistook a gap between Metro Blue Line trains for a door was awarded $17 million today in her wrongful death lawsuit against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority….
Daily Breeze- Jury awards $17M to mother of blind man killed in Blue Line accident
LOS ANGELES – The mother of a blind Compton man who was killed when he mistook a gap between Metro Blue Line trains for a door was awarded $17 million today in her wrongful death lawsuit against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Lawyers USA – Mother of blind man killed in train accident wins $17 million
The mother of a blind man who was killed after falling into a gap he mistook for a train doorway was recently awarded $17 million by a California jury.Cameron Cuthbertson was attempting to board a train on Los Angeles’ blue line when he mistook the gap between two cars for an entryway to the train and fell to the tracks. Although he attempted to climb back onto the platform, the train began to move, crushing him.
Panish Shea & Boyle Announces Court’s Denial Of Motion For New Trial
Press Release: Panish Shea & Boyle announces court’s denial of motion for new trial in record $17 million wrongful death verdict for blind man killed by a Los Angeles metro train.
Court’s Order to Deny Motion Document
Cuthbertson Special Verdict Form