Press Releases

Settlement approved in Angels Flight accident

The Associated Press
Friday December 21, 2001

LOS ANGELES— The City Council approved a $1 million settlement with the family of a New Jersey man who was killed in an accident on the historic Angels Flight funicular railway. 

The family of Leon Praport, 83, of Old Bridge, N.J., is expected to receive a total of $3 million to settle a lawsuit filed in March. It claimed the city and 16 other entities involved in the remodeling and operation of the hillside funicular knew it was not safe. 

The Angels Flight Railway Foundation has tentatively agreed to pay $1 million, and Pueblo Contracting Services, which restored the funicular, is expected to pay $1 million, although the contract firm has not yet signed off on the deal, said Gary Dordick, an attorney for the Praport family.  

A mediator recommended the settlement, which is expected to be finalized Friday, he said. 

Praport, a Holocaust survivor who was vacationing in Los Angeles, died Feb. 1 after one car rolled downhill and crashed into the other car, in which he and his 81-year-old wife, Lola, were riding. She was badly injured. 

Councilman Eric Garcetti said the $1 million payment was the right thing to do. 

“There is no more sympathetic individual,” he said. “His wife can barely function without help. They probably could have won $10 million if this had gone to trial.” 

The century-old railway remains closed as federal investigators continue to determine what caused a cable to unravel from a drum. 

The 298-foot-long railway opened on New Year’s Eve 1901. It was dismantled in 1969 for a redevelopment project and was finally restored and reassembled in 1996 at a site close to its original location.