MTA worker sues NYC after being hit by a train, losing part of one leg and crushing the other

An MTA worker who lost part of his leg and crushed the other after being hit by a train earlier this year filed a negligence lawsuit against the city on Thursday.

Andre Downes — a signal operator and transit agency flagman — was struck by a northbound Express Q train Jan. 9 while he and a crew were investigating a signal failure on the tracks near the 8th Street NYU station.

Downes, 26, had part of his left leg amputated and suffered multiple fractures in his right leg, according to his previous case, which he was seeking surveillance footage and other evidence to file his lawsuit.

The five-year MTA veteran accused the city of negligence for failing to provide a safe work environment, failing to warn Downes of the oncoming train and failing to have “adequate guards over the platform and/or tracks,” according to the Manhattan lawsuit before the Supreme Court on Thursday.

Andre Downes lies in a hospital bed with bandages on his legs.
MTA employee Andre Downes has sued the city for negligence after losing part of his leg when he was struck by a subway train.
Provided by Scott Rynecki

While the train driver saw Downes – who was wearing a safety vest as he walked away from the oncoming train – they were unable to stop the train in time, according to an internal report from the time.

Downes is suing for unspecified damages.

Downes attorney Scott Rynecki told the Post in an interview in January that the MTA does not adequately protect its workers – and said there should be better safety precautions to prevent these types of accidents.

The entrance to the 8th Street subway station is shown
Downes was working the tracks near the 8th Street-NYU station when he was hit by the Q train on January 9.
William C. Lopez/NY Post

“It’s unfair. These track workers put their lives at risk every time they go out there,” Rynecki said at the time. “We don’t think the MTA is doing enough to protect these workers.”

“Someone pretty much screwed it up,” Rynecki said. “He did what he was supposed to do. The next thing he knows, a train is speeding towards him.”

Downes underwent multiple surgeries and was in “excruciating pain” after the accident, Rynecki said.

A spokesman for the city’s legal department said it would look into the case. A spokesman for the MTA adjourned comment to the legal department. MTA worker sues NYC after being hit by a train, losing part of one leg and crushing the other


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