Passengers Sue Amtrak Over Train Derailment
Passengers injured in a deadly Amtrak train derailment that left eight dead last week have begun filing negligence lawsuits, saying the company failed to implement adequate safety measures.
At least three new lawsuits were filed in various courts Monday, several days after Amtrak employee Bruce Phillips first accused the rail service of negligence in relation to the May 12 crash, Bloomberg reports.
Federal officials say the train derailed while rounding a curve at 106 miles per hour—more than twice the speed limit for that section of track—though they have yet to determine why the train was travelling at such a high rate of speed.
“It is utterly inexplicable to me that someone would accelerate into a sharp curve, unless they were not paying attention or that they believed they had already gone through the curve and were accelerating into a straightaway,” Robert Mongeluzzi, an attorney representing four passengers in one of the cases, told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Over the weekend, he noted, Amtrak installed a safety device along the tracks on which the accident occurred that automatically slows down speeding trains. Mongeluzzi claims that Amtrak’s alacrity after the fact shows that, “They had the absolute ability to do it in a short period,” and therefore should have prevented the crash. (RELATED: Dems Exploit Amtrak Crash to Promote Big Government)
The plaintiffs in the case brought by Mongeluzzi include two Americans—Daniel Armyn of New York and Amy Miller of New Jersey—and two Spanish citizens—Felicidad Redondo Iban and Maria Jesus Redondo Iban.
Miller returned home after being treated, but the other three remain hospitalized with serious injuries, including Felicidad Redondo Iban, who needed multiple surgeries to avoid losing her right arm.
Two other lawsuits were also filed Monday, and additional complaints are widely expected as other passengers continue to consult with lawyers. (RELATED: Trump on Amtrak Crash: Only Way to Fix Infrastructure is to Elect Me)
Emilio Fonseca, a conductor on the train, filed suit in a New Jersey state court seeking unspecified damages for his injuries, and Swiss tourists Steffen and Dorota Seidler are asking a federal court in Manhattan to award them compensation for both their physical injuries and for lingering psychological trauma.
Amtrak officials have declined to comment on the lawsuits, but in a blog post two days after the crash, president and CEO Joe Boardman wrote that, “Amtrak takes full responsibility and deeply apologizes for our role in this tragic event.”
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