New York City

Woman on Derailed Subway Train Plans to Sue for $5 Million

34 people had minor injuries in the derailment, fire officials say

What to Know

  • Sheena Tucker of Hamilton Heights is planning to sue the MTA and NYC Transit Authority for $5 million
  • Her attorneys say in a notice of claim filed Wednesday that she was on board the A train that derailed in Harlem Tuesday
  • They say she suffered "serious and severe personal injuries" in the derailment

A woman on board the subway train that derailed in Harlem Tuesday plans to sue the MTA and the New York City Transit Authority for $5 million, her attorneys say.

Sheena Tucker, of Hamilton Heights, was on board the A train when it derailed outside the 125th Street station Tuesday morning, law firm Rubenstein & Rynecki says in a notice of claim filed Wednesday. 

Tucker's attorneys claim she suffered physical and psychological injuries, as well as emotional trauma in the derailment that forced hundreds of panicked riders to flee through darkened tunnels and crippled the transit system for the day. At least 34 people were treated for minor injuries, fire officials said.

"I was being pushed, I was trampled, I passed out for a second, I was throwing up from the smoke," Tucker said at a news conference held with attorney Sanford Rubenstein Thursday. 

The MTA says it doesn't comment on pending litigation. 

The notice of claim says the MTA and its subway agency, the NYC Transit Authority, were "careless," "reckless," and "negligent" in overseeing the subway, which Tucker's attorneys claim led to the crash and caused Tucker to be "seriously injured." 

The planned lawsuit will seek $5 million for "serious and severe personal injuries, the full extent of which are not currently known." 

Meanwhile, two MTA supervisors were suspended Wednesday after MTA officials said the derailment outside the 125th Street station was caused by human error -- specifically an "improperly secured piece of replacement rail" that was stored on the tracks.

The derailment comes amid a series of breakdowns, signal failures and other issues that have left straphangers at their breaking point. On Monday, the subway rider whose horrifying account of being stuck on a sweltering, powerless train earlier this month went viral held a news briefing to demand the MTA outline an evacuation procedure for riders who may get stranded in the future.

It also comes less than two weeks before the start of Amtrak's summer-long work to repair aging infrastructure at New York Penn Station, a project that is expected to increase subway volume as commuters seek alternatives.

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