Two teens were hit and killed by a light rail train traveling in Lutherville, Maryland (MD) back in July of 2009. The families of these teens were considering filing a lawsuit but reach a $1.5 million settlement via mediation from the Maryland Board of Public Works, according to 

The two teens were walking along southbound tracks when a light rail train that usually travels on northbound tracks came out of nowhere and hit the teens.  The operator of the train did not stop and another train that traveled by later that day allegedly failed to notice the two bodies.

The families’ attorneys filed a legal notice stating the train operator took their eyes off the track just before the accident and had no satisfactory explanation for their actions. In addition, both rail operators did not report the sighting of the teens on the tracks and the agency lacked a procedure for notifying operators to take extra precautions when trains were being operated on alternate tracks. Both train operators were eventually fired and six other employees were disciplined, according to the Baltimore Sun. 

A $1.5 million settlement is not enough to truly compensate the family members who are struggling with grief. No settlement amount is ever enough for a loss of life. Though, I am glad to see the families receive something for their pain and suffering.

These types of settlements will hopefully send a signal to the rest of the rail community that following proper safety procedures is crucial.