London commuter who fell in front of oncoming Tube train ‘due to overcrowding’ suing TfL for £220,000

London commuter who fell in front of oncoming Tube train ‘due to overcrowding’ suing TfL for £220,000

A commuter who says he fell in front of an oncoming Tube train and was seriously injured due to overcrowding on a “rammed” platform is suing Transport for London for £220,000.

David Garcia Thomas, 28, fainted during evening rush hour at Oxford Circus station on 20 November 2019 and fell, becoming trapped between the train and the platform edge.

The former languages teacher turned IT executive was dragged some distance and suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured spine and serious leg injuries. He is suing TfL for up to £220,000 in compensation, claiming it “failed to identify... all the risks to the safety of customers caused by overcrowded and congested platforms”.

Mr Garcia Thomas, of Balham, also says there should have been a “platform edge device” to prevent falls.

High Court papers state that he had got on the Bakerloo line after finishing work at IT company Nominet in Paddington.

“At Oxford Circus, he crossed to the opposite platform for the southbound Victoria line,” his lawyers set out.

“The first train to arrive was too full for the claimant to get on. Once people in front of him had got on the first train, the claimant moved closer to the edge of the platform and waited for the next train.

“He was hot and nauseous and began to feel dizzy and lightheaded. He was concerned that he might faint so he turned around, intending to move further away from the platform edge. However, the platform was so crowded and congested that he was unable to move from his position… The claimant has no recollection of what happened next.”

CCTV captured the moment Mr Garcia Thomas “suffered a medical episode, causing him to collapse”, his laywers said. “The claimant was struck by the train and became trapped between the train and the platform. He was carried by the train some distance down the platform. He was removed by emergency services and taken to hospital.”

TfL is accused of not undertaking an adequate risk assessment, failing to properly identify risks and not doing enough to manage or prevent overcrowding. It also allegedly failed to provide sufficient training on overcrowding. It is said Mr Garcia Thomas needed seven operations and spent four months on crutches.

TfL’s defence to the claim is not yet available from the court.

A spokesman said: “Safety is our number one priority and we are sorry that Mr Garcia Thomas was injured at Oxford Circus station. We are aware of his claim and will be responding to the court in due course.”