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“It’s clearly a relief”, recognizes the lawyer for dozens of civil parties

The SNCF was sentenced to a fine of 300,000 euros by the court of Evry. SNCF Réseau and the ex-railway worker were released.

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Maître Gérard Chemla, lawyer for the Association Entraide et Défense des Victimes de la Catastrophe de Brétigny, estimated on Wednesday October 26 on franceinfo that the condemnation of the SNCF is “clearly a relief”. The SNCF was found guilty “involuntary homicides and injuries”after the derailment of a train at Brétigny-sur-Orge station, in Essonne in 2013. A disaster that killed seven people and caused hundreds of psychological and / or physical injuries. “The fact that the court clearly says in a very reasoned way that the SNCF is responsible, it is importantunderlined the lawyer. The terms used, in particular that of ‘negligence’ is essential.”

The court noted a lack of maintenance on aging sections, a crack on the fish plate from 2008 – this piece that connects two rails together. “The court explained that preventive maintenance was an essential element of safety […] and that it was an obligation of the SNCF”, detailed the lawyer. On the criminal liability of the SNCF, for Me. Gérard Chemla “it’s the least of things. The thesis of the accident which occurs without our being able to foresee it, does not resist for a single moment”.

However, the lawyer deplores that “the sentence pronounced (is) not up to what could have been possible”emphasizing “the system of lies that had been institutionalized the day after the accident” by the railway group. However, the court of Evry recognized the various “human and financial means” set up by the group to “provide assistance and support to the victims of the disaster”.

Mr. Gérard Chemla says to himself “much more shared” on the release of the railway manager SNCF Réseau (formerly Réseau Ferré de France). “I claim that when you own a network, you have to check that the person who maintains it really does it. RFF had not done its job on this point and I regret this release”, he believes. On this subject, the lawyer indicates that he must “to meet with (its) clients in the next ten days to assess the attitude to take” even if he finds that “the civil parties are exhausted”and “want to turn the page” after a nine-week trial and nine years after the derailment of the train at Brétigny-sur-Orge station. “We will see and we will make the difference depending on both the position taken by the SNCF and the degree of bitterness of my customers”he added.



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