Metrolink’s tough-sell answer to expected lawsuits: “Our No. 1 concern is the safety of our
Lawyers held two informational meetings yesterday in Simi Valley as the process of rounding up clients to sue over the train collision in Chatsworth last month.
Given the deaths of 25 people and the injuries to more than 100 others, there will no shortage of plaintiffs — or defendants for that matter. Sue Doyle in the Daily News offered this list: Metrolink, the MTA, Veolia Environmental, which contracts with Metrolink to provide engineers and conductors; Mass Electric Construction Co., Herzog Cos., Union Pacific and Bombardier, the Canadian designer and manufacturer of passenger cars.
Those are a lot of deep pockets and surely before it’s over they will come up with a better argument than Metrolink spokesman Francisco Oaxaca offered which would be laughed out of court. Safety was clearly not Metrolink’s No. 1 priority.
There’s the problem of trains headed at each other on a single track, the engineer text messaging, bonuses doled out to train employees and middle management for keeping trains on time. Attorneys accused Metrolink officials of knowingly operating trains with mechanical defects, encouraging engineers to exceed speed limits and fudging records toward that end.
“Their chief concern is not what it should be,” attorney R. Edward Pfiester Jr. said. “And that’s the safety of their passengers.”
You can bet the costs will be staggering in the end for the loss of life, pain and suffering and the punitive damages that will be imposed for the flagrant disregard of what Metrolink claims is its No. 1 concern.
If the city can’t get rid of advertising trailers parked on our streets, what can it do?
Exemplifying the true spirit of free enterprise and American ingenuity, David Rosensweig deserves a place in the Hall of Fame of Capitalism — a small place in a dank, dark corner to be sure.
As Rosensweig tells Barbara Correa in the Daily News, he got a brainstorm after he put up a mini-billboard in West Hills and got 12 quick responses. Today, his company AD-A-Glance has about 40 ad trailers parked on the streets of Los Angeles and is expanding across the Southwest.
OK, Rosensweig isn’t exactly an entrepreneurial genius who made life better for humanity. He wasn’t even the first one to start putting the 4-by-6 signs on miniature trailers but he is making a good living from these annoying portable billboards and doesn’t understand why anyone would object.
Councilman Dennis Zine has long been the No. 1
objector. He got a law passed three years ago that banned unhitched
trailers from being parked on city streets. The hitch was that the city
had to put up specific signs banning them in specific areas and that
would have required puttiing up tens of thousands of such signs across
the city which, of course, hasn’t been done.
Zine blames City
Attorney Rocky Delgadillo — well-known as the champion of billboards
of all types from the giant electronic flashing kind down to the
portable kind — for advising against an outright ban like the one
adopted in Simi Valley because it might violate free-speech rights.
sensitive to free-speech rights — at least with regard to some people
– the council went along so the trailers are still around and annoying
Zine is more circumspect in exercisng his rights. “I
refer to them as something you wouldn’t be able to put in the paper,”
he said. “They are a nuisance, an irritant, an eyesore. We have a
quality-of-life issue here.”
Good point but I’m not sure quality-of-life in the city carries much weight at City Hall.