Lawsuits filed in deadly Amtrak derailment

Posted By Kinnard, Clayton & Beveridge || May 21, 2015

Most Tennessee residents by now have heard about the Amtrak passenger train that derailed in a Philadelphia neighborhood on May 12. The accident, which so far has claimed the lives of eight people and injured more than 200 others, received extensive news coverage for several days. No cause had yet been established, and an investigation was being conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board at the time of the report.

In one of the first in what will most likely be a series of legal actions arising from the incident, an Amtrak conductor who was on the train has filed a lawsuit against the rail company alleging negligence. The 33-year-old plaintiff was on a break during his regular shift when the derailment took place. According to reports, he suffered a variety of serious injuries, including a broken neck and back. In a news conference, his attorney said that his client had stated that the train suddenly accelerated right before it went off of the rails, confirming many earlier reports.

Although the exact cause has yet to be determined, a variety of theories have been postulated. It was earlier thought that perhaps the engineer had been distracted by using his cellphone, but that has not been officially confirmed. In addition to the conductor's lawsuit, a group of passengers is also suing Amtrak.

Those who have been seriously injured in an accident caused by the negligent acts of others often face significant medical expenses, and the financial consequences can also include lost wages due to an inability to work for prolonged periods. In cases such as these, an attorney could examine accident investigation reports and other evidence in order to make a determination as to which parties should be named as defendants in a resulting personal injury lawsuit.

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