TfL admits liability over Croydon tram crash
Transport for London (TfL) has today begun admitting liability for its part in the Croydon tram crash of 9 November 2016, in relation to compensation claims from families of the victims of the crash.
The tram was found to be travelling at over three times the speed limit when it derailed going around a bend, killing seven people and injuring 51.
Now, legal claims being made by victims of the families are moving forward against TfL and Tram Operation Ltd, a subsidiary of FirstGroup, which run the tram network.
In a letter seen by the Press Association from the law firm handling the case of Mark Smith, one of the victims, insurers for TfL and Tram Operation said the letter was an “admission of liability for the purposes of your client’s civil claim”.
This news follows the revelation by the RAIB in an interim report last month that the driver of the tram had “lost awareness” when the accident happened and had actually been travelling at 46mph, which is even faster than the speed of 43.5mph that investigators originally thought the train was moving at.
Jonathan Fox, TfL’s director of London Rail, said: “We have been in touch with everyone injured who has notified us of a claim and with the dependents of the people who lost their lives to confirm that liability is admitted in respect of their civil claims. We urge anyone needing further help to contact us straight away.”
“The cause of the tragic derailment at Sandilands last November is not yet known and we continue to assist with the ongoing investigations. This is clearly a terribly difficult time for everyone affected.”
Media outlets have reported that Richard Geraghty, a specialist serious injury lawyer from firm Slater and Gordon, who are representing two of the victims, said: “Our clients are relieved that the defendants have admitted liability in the Croydon tram crash case.”
Geraghty added that the trauma his clients had been through as a result of the crash had been difficult for them to come to terms with, arguing that the news that they would not have to go through a civil trial was “welcome”.
“As there is a criminal investigation ongoing it would be inappropriate for us to comment further, but our clients are anxious to find out the full facts of what happened and what caused the crash that devastated their lives,” he concluded.