Network Rail and Jarvis plc today announced that they have formally accepted liability on behalf of the rail industry for all legally justified claims brought by the bereaved and injured in respect of the Potters Bar crash that took place in May 2002.
Just a few months after the accident the industry parties announced that Railtrack (now Network Rail) would take the lead in settling claims and that all legally justified claims would be handled as if liability had been accepted. This was to ensure that the issue of liability did not stand in the way of settling claims or cause unnecessary distress to those involved whilst the accident remained under investigation.
Network Rail and Jarvis have now agreed that they should formally accept liability on behalf of the industry for claims brought by the bereaved and injured despite the continuing investigations into the root cause of the accident.
Network Rail and Jarvis hope that by formalising the liability issue, those affected by the tragedy will gain some level of comfort and assistance. In the meantime, the industry parties will continue to work with the HSE as its investigation continues.
John Armitt, Network Rail Chief Executive, said: “Immediately following the Potters Bar crash I publicly apologised on behalf of the industry to the bereaved and injured for the tragedy. Today, I restate that apology – we are truly sorry for the Potters Bar crash.”
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Mr Armitt continued: “The issue of liability has never stood in the way of settling claims but I hope today’s news provides at least some comfort and assistance to those affected.”
Kevin Hyde, Chief Executive of Jarvis plc, said: “Everyone at Jarvis was deeply saddened by the tragic event at Potters Bar and its terrible impact on the lives of the victims, their families and friends. We are sorry that it happened. We are also sorry that, nearly two years after the accident and a great deal of expert examination, final conclusions have not yet been reached. Jarvis has co-operated fully and will continue to work with everyone involved to find the answers.”