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Metro and the manufacturers of its signaling technology agreed this week to accept responsibility for the deadly 2009 Red Line crash near the Fort Totten station.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Alstrom Signaling Inc., Ansaldo STS USA Inc., and ARINC Inc., stipulated in court documents Feb. 13 that they will accept liability in the lawsuits against them filed by some of the families of the nine people killed in the June 2009 crash.

The only issue unresolved in the four cases against WMATA is determining how much the company will pay, according to court documents.

The filing was first reported by the Washington Examiner.

Metro spokeswoman Carolina Lukas said Thursday the agency will not comment on ongoing litigation. The settlements are confidential.

Metro and the three companies decided to stipulate liability “to avoid the significant risks and costs associated with litigating those highly contested and technical issues.”

The National Transportation Safety Board reported in July 2010 that the crash was caused by the failure in automatic control system in the Metro trains, according to safety board documents. Metro has since begun to manually operate its trains.

Metro funding for fiscal 2013 was cut by roughly $15 million in President Barack Obama’s most recent federal budget, released Feb. 13, down from the $150 million originally appropriated for it.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) of Baltimore said such funding is essential to upgrading Metro.

“We must continue to invest in Metro to ensure that is safe for the millions of people who ride on it every day,” she said.

Court records show WMATA has settled with all but four plaintiffs in the dozen cases against them. All are scheduled to be litigated this year.

aruoff@gazette.net