Paralyzed MTA worker seeks help

- A Metro-North worker paralyzed in the 2013 Spuyten Duyvil train derailment is still fighting a legal battle with the railroad.

Samuel Rivera is remembering a fateful day in December 2013. The 41-year-old's life was forever changed when the Metro-North train he and his son were riding in derailed near Spuyten Duyvil in the Bronx when the engineer fell asleep at the controls.

Four people died. Of the 60 people injured, Rivera, a married father of two, suffered the most life-altering outcome. Because of fractures in his neck, he is quadriplegic.

At the time of the accident, Rivera was employed as a Metro-North heating and air conditioning mechanic assigned to Grand Central Terminal. Last week, Metro-North sent Rivera a letter informing him that by April 5 it would be cutting off his $85,000 annual salary he had been receiving since the accident.

Rivera was en route to the city for a day of fun with his 13-year-old son. Because they used free guest passes though, a courtesy for Metro-North employees, the railroad now said it can't be held liable for Rivera's injuries.

Metro-North emphasized that the case is still in the negotiation stage and suggested Rivera apply for disability. It also says it took the unprecedented step of continuing to pay Rivera his regular wages.

Rivera, meantime, has been living at a rehab facility for the last two years because he said that without a settlement, his home cannot be made wheelchair-accessible.

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