A Brazilian architectural student whose arm and leg were severed by a Brooklyn subway train is now seeking to shame the MTA into installing straphanger-saving barriers.
Transit officials know that in the past 15 years as many as 750 people have died on the tracks, and more than 1,000 have suffered catastrophic injuries, yet the officials “have turned their back on safety,” Luisa Harger, 21, bravely argues in a negligence lawsuit she filed last week.
Unwilling to install barriers and other safety structures on subway platforms, New York City Transit and the MTA must “take responsibility for the horrific trail of dead bodies and ruined lives,” Harger says.
Roughly 50 people a year are fatally struck by trains.
But the system is so sprawling that it could take $1 billion to install barriers, according to a 2013 estimate.
Such barriers already exist on stops along the Airtrain, the Queens line connecting JFK Airport to the Jamaica subway station, and no one has gotten hit there, claims Harger, a one-time model who ties colorful scarves to the stump where her left arm used to be.
The young woman spent 24 days at Bellevue Hospital and endured multiple surgeries after her horrific August 2016 accident.
She was visiting her boyfriend, George, when the pair went to shop at Target in Brooklyn. The couple was waiting on the Atlantic Avenue platform at around 7 p.m. when Harger fainted, according to court papers.
At the same moment, a northbound B train rolled into the station, hitting Harger and severing her limbs, she said in her lawsuit.
“I will never forget George holding my hand right after the accident. He was so strong, staying calm to keep me calm. He said many times how much he loved me and that help was coming for me, which really made my heart bright and hopeful, putting a smile on my face even on a moment like that,” Harger wrote on Instagram.
She’s now adjusting to a new prosthetic leg, is on a waiting list for a prosthetic arm, and is fighting for disabled students at her college in Brazil.
In her lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, she charges authorities knew with “moral certainty that innocent people . . . would fall onto the tracks if [they] did not . . . install platform edge safety devices.”
Transit officials also failed to conduct “adequate” studies on the issue of platform safety and have given “misleading data,” she claims.
The issue of platform barriers resurfaced last year after a Queens woman…