May 29, 2015 — The first lawsuits have been filed against Amtrak by victims of a deadly train accident in Philadelphia earlier this month.
The Amtrak engineer at the controls, Brandon Bostian, could face criminal charges if law enforcement find he was reckless or negligent.
The train approached speeds of 106-mph around a curve — more than twice the posted speed limit — and derailed, causing a crash that killed eight people and injured more than 200.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is trying to explain why the train accelerated to 106-mph from 70-mph in the minute before the crash. Bostian suffered a concussion and says he has no memory of what occurred.
A group of four passengers who were injured have filed lawsuits, including Brooklyn advertising executive Daniel Armyn, who had broken ribs, teeth knocked out, a pelvic injury, bruised lungs, and torn ligaments.
Other plaintiffs include two tourists from Spain, including a man whose right arm was nearly severed, according to NBC Philadelphia.
A lawsuit has also been filed by Bruce A. Phillips, an employee of Amtrak who was on the train heading to New York’s Penn Station to begin a work shift. The lawsuit blames Amtrak for “failing to provide available, necessary and appropriate systems to slow and/or stop the train.”
Federal safety investigators say the crash could have been prevented by a “positive train control” system, according to CNN. The system combines GPS, wireless radio, and computers to monitor trains. If the train is not being operated safely, the system will automatically slow down the train.
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