CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago police officer injured when a subway passenger tried to set himself on fire on a Red Line train has filed a lawsuit against the CTA.
According to the lawsuit, CTA employees failed to “act reasonably in a situation that needlessly endangered” Officer Frank Proano.
Proano required surgery on his shoulder as a result of the altercation with the passenger. Seven months later, he is still unable to return to his duties, according to the lawsuit filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court.
The lawsuit says a CTA supervisor failed to follow Proano’s orders to close the doors where the passenger was sitting. Instead the supervisor entered the car and charged at the man in an attempt to remove flammable liquid from his hands.
Then the two got into a physical altercation, forcing Proano and another officer to rush inside to separate the two men. It was at that point that the passenger lit the fire.
“When a civilian attempts to take matters into their own hands or ignores the specific instructions of the police, innocent people can be hurt or killed,” said attorney Lance Northcutt, a partner with GWC Law Firm. “In this instance, the CTA and its supervisor took a foolish and unnecessary gamble – and a good officer is still paying the price.”
The incident occurred on Jan. 28 around 5:15 p.m. at the Argyle Station in the Uptown neighborhood.
CBS Chicago is reaching out to the CTA for comment.