A month ago I posted an update on the Natalie Smead story. Earlier this week, Natalie’s father, Pete Smead, let me know that the lawsuit had been settled earlier (see this Newsday article). And then he forwarded this letter (PDF) from the family’s attorney, Robert G. Sullivan to Mark Rosenker, Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The letter addresses the question: Why would Long Island Railroad (LIRR) spend millions of dollars on gap repairs if Natalie was at fault in her own death? (continued)
Attorney Sullivan wrote:
The purpose of this letter has nothing to do with the case. It has to do with letting you know what happened after you generated this report. I am going to spell out in this letter all of the factors that you did not take into consideration in any respect, did not recite in your report which was so one-sided, so sloppy, so negligent and you can draw your own conclusion as to the effect it had at the end of this letter.
Sullivan then points out several omissions of the depositions from LIRR employees and police involved in the investigation. He ends with this:
Your report is sloppy and you simply did a lazy job. Had you bothered to obtain the transcripts and/or the witness statements and read them, you would have known differently.
The real reason for this letter is that your report was released on March 13, 2009. I want you to know that on March 20, 2009 Susan Perry, the mother of Natalie Smead sent an e-mail to her friends, a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit L. You can see her crying out that they “only blamed the victim” and put none of the blame on themselves.
The next attachment is Exhibit M, my e-mail to her trying to assure her that your report and stating what I will not back down from “the report is bullshit, pure and through”.
The final e-mail, Exhibit N, is the next day which is the last communication anyone will ever hear from Susan Perry, Natalie’s mother who signed it – “Natalie’s Forever Mother” and committed suicide on April 5, 2009.
Finally, attached is a photo of Natalie and her mother. You certainly had nothing to do with the death of Natalie Smead and your only connection to it is an investigation that I don’t think you should be proud of.
As to her mother, Susan Perry, who had survived 2 ½ years and had agreed to the settlement prior to the issuance of your report and committed suicide three weeks after the issuance of your report, I will leave you to your own rationalization.