Former BioPark train conductor sues City of Albuquerque for injuries
August 09, 2019 06:37 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A former zoo train conductor is suing the City of Albuquerque, claiming he was injured after the ABQ BioPark train he operated derailed.
James Lakatos was working for a nonprofit that supports the BioPark when he said the small train he was operating derailed at the zoo.
According to the lawsuit, Lakatos was operating train #19, known as "Old Rusty," in May last year.
The complaint said "the axle of the main drive wheel sheared off, fell off the track and down onto the train rail," at which point Lakatos was "thrown from his conductor's seat."
The lawsuit also claims the city had a "history of ignoring train maintenance and a culture of 'do nothing until it breaks.'"
The 4 Investigates team reviewed five years of BioPark train maintenance records and couldn't find any mention of a train derailment involving injuries. KOB 4 asked the city if there is any record of the incident – they said they are looking into it.
When it comes to the lawsuit, a city spokesperson shared the following statement:
"The City has not been served yet, so we are not familiar with the specifics of the claim. Once the Legal Department receives the complaint, they will review it and respond accordingly."
Lakatos is no longer doing work for the BioPark. KOB 4 reached out to his attorney to ask what kind of injuries he suffered, but have not heard back.
Updated: August 09, 2019 06:37 PM
Created: August 09, 2019 03:20 PM
Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved