The Law Offices of James S. Rogers obtained a $6.5 million settlement on behalf of the families of Emoke Rock (76) and Steven Wayne (66), who were struck and killed by a Seattle Link Light Rail train on July 2nd, 2021.
The couple, who lived in Rainier Valley, were on their way to a Mariners baseball game when the fatal crash occurred. Rock and Wayne were walking towards the Columbia City Link Light Rail Station to catch a train going north to the stadium. As Rock and Wayne were crossing a pedestrian walkway over the at-grade tracks to get to the northbound platform, they were struck by a southbound train.
James S. Rogers and Heather Cover represented the plaintiffs in this case, and alleged that it was the responsibility of the defendants, Sound Transit, King County Metro Transit, the Seattle Department of Transportation, and the train operator, to construct, design, maintain and operate the Link Light Rail system with sufficient pedestrian safety systems. A settlement was reached with all parties before the January 29th trial was set to begin.
There have been many pedestrians struck by light rail trains or nearly struck by light rail trains on the MLK Corridor, where Rock and Wayne were killed. The governmental entities did not install any protective devices such as pedestrian swing gates and automatic gates that would prevent pedestrians, such as Rock and Wayne, from walking onto the tracks when a train is approaching. It was well known to the Defendants that at-grade crossings, such as the one where Rock and Wayne were struck, increased the risk of a pedestrian-light rail train collision.
For more information, see the Seattle Times article and an interview with James S. Rogers on King 5 Seattle.