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Amtrak Sued by More Crash Victims in Costly Personal Injury Claims

The deadly Amtrak crash that killed eight people on May 12, left over 200 passengers injured in the derailment. Amtrak now faces what could be more than $200 million in personal injury lawsuits filed by the victims of the crash.

When Amtrak Train 188 lost control at the Frankford Junction in the Port Richmond area of Philadelphia, early reports of the derailment detailed how the train was traveling at 100 miles per hour, when it hit the curve and derailed. The marked speed limit for that area is 50 miles per hour. Four of the crash victim passengers have taken legal action against the train company. The lawsuit was filed by the four passengers and their attorneys, Robert Mongeluzzi and Tom Kline, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
According to the lawsuit, due to the lack of an automated safety system, technology used to control the speed mechanism on trains, and can override human error, resulted in the deadly crash. Therefore, the rail company is liable for injuries suffered by riders injured in the crash.

The lawsuit states that the four plaintiffs suffered severe injuries from the derailment, and seek unspecified damages for claims of negligence and outrageous conduct. The four plaintiffs are identified as Felicidad Redondo Iban, Daniel Armyn, Amy Miller and Maria Jesus Redondo Iban. The claim states that at the time of the crash, Felicidad Iban was thrown about the car and pinned under the wreckage. When she was extracted and taken to the hospitals, Iban had to undergo numerous surgeries to prevent having her arm amputated. Her cousin, Maria Jesus Redondo Iban, suffered head and internal injuries as a result of the train derailment. The other plaintiffs, Daniel Armyn suffered multiple fractured ribs, a torn ACL in his knee, a head injury and numerous lacerations. Amy Miller sustained a concussion, back and orthopedic injuries.

This is the first lawsuits filed by passengers of the Amtrak crash, and of what many predict to be a slew of lawsuits against Amtrak. The first lawsuit was filed by Amtrak employees, who suffered critical injuries in the crash. Amtrak is likely to face hundreds of millions of dollars in personal injury claims from victims of the Train 188 derailment in Philadelphia. In 1997, Congress put a cap on such payouts for Amtrak. Under the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act, damages paid by the government to people injured in Amtrak derailments and families of those passengers killed was limited to $200 million per crash. But with eight killed and about 200 of the 238 passengers injured, some very critically injured, claims from this crash, will surely exceed that amount.This means that the money to compensate victims and families of the victims in this crash will most likely fall short. With 200 of the 238 passengers and employees injured in the crash, it can be assumed that most of these passengers suffered some type of injury. Of those critically injured, it can cost up to $15-20 million dollars to medically take care of some of these victims for the rest of their lives. Compensation to the families of the victims killed in the crash will cost more if not just as much as the medical expenses. It will be interesting to see if the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act will apply in this situation, and what will happen for the victims if the cap remains in place.

 

 

Sources:
https://patch.com/pennsylvania/roxborough/amtrak-passengers-sue-injuries-derailment
https://www.philly.com/philly/business/20150515_Amtrak_facing_costly_personal-injury_claims_from_crash_victims.html

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