Train crash victim finally wins compensation

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A 33-year-old woman who was among those injured in one of Norway’s worst train crashes ever has finally won compensation, 11 years after the fatal accident on a winter’s day at Åsta in the eastern valley of Østerdalen.

Linda Ellefsrud won a major victory against insurance company Tryg, which was supposed to cover claims for state railway NSB. Two NSB trains collided head-on at Åsta, Hedmark County, on January 4, 2000, after a series of structural and human errors. Nineteen persons were killed in the accident, while 67 survived.

Ellefsrud was among the survivors, but Tryg challenged her claims, arguing they weren’t all related to the accident. A court last week ruled they were, awarding her NOK 4.5 million (around USD 700,000) plus court costs.

The ruling indicates how compensation cases in Norway generally result in far lower awards than what’s common in other countries, not least in the US, but Ellefsrud was pleased. “Now I’ll have more freedom and room to take care of my own health situation,” Ellefsrud, who’s on full disability, told newspaper Aftenposten.

It was unclear whether Tryg, which called the verdict “surprising,” would appeal to the Supreme Court.

Views and News staff