After an eight-week trial, the SNCF was sentenced on October 26 to a fine of 300,000 euros, found guilty of having neglected the maintenance of an element of a track device, which caused the derailment of the train. July 12, 2013.
SNCF explained in particular that it did not appeal “out of respect for the victims first, to avoid making them relive this tragedy through a second trial”.
The National Society of French Railways (SNCF) was judged as the criminal heiress of SNCF Infra, in charge of maintenance at the time of the tragedy.
The court sentenced her for two of the fifteen breaches for which she was prosecuted to a sentence of 300,000 euros, increased compared to the fine incurred due to the state of legal recidivism of the public company, already condemned 13 times for manslaughter.
In its decision, the Evry Criminal Court described a “fatal combination of negligence”. Result: a crack detected in 2008 in the switchgear was poorly monitored for five years.
The SNCF, which had requested its release considering that the accident was unforeseeable, argued Monday that the court judgment does not impute to it “no systematic, structural or organizational fault” but “a single fault of negligence”.
According to the SNCF, this judgment also underlines its “efforts (…) immediately after the accident to strengthen the surveillance of the French rail network” or even support the victims.
The company, which achieved a turnover of nearly 35 billion euros in 2021, said it had paid a total of 13 million euros to direct or indirect victims and social organizations.
On October 26, the court asked him to add 3.5 million euros in damages. “In this respect, the SNCF group is continuing its mobilization in order to finalize the compensation process”, assured the SFNCF.
They were three to be judged for this disaster. Unlike the SNCF, the manager of the SNCF Réseau tracks (ex-Réseau Ferré de France) and a former railway executive have been released.