Mass transit accidents harm numerous victims besides passengers and operators. Recent lawsuits involving the May 12 derailment of an Amtrak passenger train 188 traveling to New York illustrate the type of victims in these accidents.
The derailment outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania resulted in eight fatalities and over 200 injuries. Over 12 lawsuits have been filed. A petition seeking consolidation of the cases is pending before a federal judge in Philadelphia.
One victim included the famous 37-year-old chef Eli Kulp of New York who claims that he suffered a spinal fracture in the crash. He is the chef and co-owner of three restaurants, including Fork’s, and was opening a new restaurant in New York. He filed a lawsuit and alleged that he is now paralyzed and staying in a rehabilitation facility.
Another wrongful death lawsuit was filed on behalf of the wife, children and parents of a 45-year-old passenger car occupant who was fatally injured. The train crashed into the vehicle and mangled itasd approached a sharp curve. The victim was also traveling to a business meeting in New York.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the train speeding at 100 mph on the curve where the speed limit is 50 mph. In June, the NTSB determined that the engineer was not using a personal electronic device at the time of the crash and that there were no calls, texts or data usage when he operated the train.
Victims of transit accidents, such as passengers and other vehicle occupants, may be entitled to compensation for losses suffered in these accidents while their families may be entitled to damages for the loss of a loved one. Legal assistance should be sought quickly to help assure that evidence is obtained and to protect legal rights.
Source: Baltimore Sun, “Family of Marlyand businessman killed in train crash sues Amtrak,” Maryclaire Dale, June 30, 2015