- Associated Press - Friday, January 30, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - The sons of a woman who died after smoke filled a Washington subway train filed a $50 million lawsuit against the Metro transit agency on Friday, saying their goal is to make the subway system safer for other riders and not to enrich themselves.

Attorney Patrick Regan filed the federal lawsuit on behalf of Marcus and Anthony Glover, the adult sons of Carol Glover.

According to the complaint, Metro’s negligence led directly to the death of Carol Glover, 61, who was trapped on the smoke-filled train near the L’Enfant Plaza station for 45 minutes before rescuers arrived. At that point, she had no pulse, the lawsuit said.

“Though we’re devastated, we’re not bitter,” Marcus Glover said at a news conference. “We’re not seeking vengeance. We’re seeking justice, and we want to make sure that everybody else can ride the Metro system and go about their lives with confidence that they’re going to be safe.”

More than 80 other people were sickened by smoke during the Jan. 12 accident, which was caused by an electrical malfunction. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating what led to the malfunction.

According to a report released by District of Columbia officials, it took firefighters 30 minutes after smoke was first reported to reach passengers on the stricken train, and rescuers were hindered by problems with their radios and a delay in getting word from Metro that the third rail powering the trains had been shut off.

Ventilation fans in the subway tunnels also didn’t work, according to the lawsuit, although it does not specify what went wrong with the fans.

Regan, who also represented plaintiffs after the last fatal accident on Metro, a 2009 crash that killed eight riders and a train operator, said Glover’s death was entirely preventable.

“This is not an insurmountable problem. This is not an unforeseen event. Nobody was hurt when this train came to a stop,” Regan said. “They need to get people out of there. So yes, they can fix this problem.”

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Follow Ben Nuckols on Twitter at https://twitter.com/APBenNuckols.

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