CONFIDENTIAL SETTLEMENT REACHED IN AMTRAK WRONGFUL DEATH SUIT

A lawsuit brought by the family of a grandmother and two young children killed after a high-speed train struck their car in Waterford four years ago has been settled, according to the attorney for the family.

Patricia Metzermacher, 61, and her two grandchildren, 8-year-old Zachary Metzermacher and 4-year-old Courtney Metzermacher, died after Patricia Metzermacher's car was struck by a train traveling 70 mph through the street-level crossing on Sept. 28, 2005.

Their survivors filed a multimillion-dollar wrongful-death lawsuit against the National Railroad Passenger Corp., or Amtrak. Attorney Robert I. Reardon Jr. said the case was scheduled for trial in March but was settled following mediation with federal magistrate Judge William Garfinkle in February.

"The parties have agreed that there will be no further comment regarding the settlement," Reardon said in a press release.

Patricia Metzermacher's Ford Taurus was dragged more than 1,000 feet after it was struck by the train. She was driving Zachary to his school bus stop on the corner of Miner Lane, which was less than a mile from their house at 75 Miner Lane. Patricia and Zachary were killed instantly, and Courtney, who was in a child seat in the back seat of the car, lived for several days before her parents decided to authorize doctors to remove life support.

- KAREN FLORIN

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