Four inured passengers on board the Amtrak train that crashed last week have initiated a personal injury lawsuit against the rail company. The lawsuit was filed on Monday, and stated that the passengers suffered serious and disabling injuries as a result of their train's derailment in Philadelphia.
The civil suit appears to be the first non-employee related action filed regarding the May 12 derailment, which claimed the lives of eight people and injured over 200. Two of the injured plaintiffs in the suit were from Spain, one was from New York, and the other individual was from New Jersey.
Lawsuit Alleges Recklessness and Negligence
The lawsuit alleges that Amtrak and its train engineer committed recklessness and negligence leading up to the accident. At this time, Amtrak has not issued any formal response to the allegations.
According to Federal law, Amtrak is protected in lawsuits from passengers, and it will not be required to pay more than $200 million total to all of the injured victims and their families. Nevertheless, some legal experts claim the liability cap could be too small to cover all the costs of the accident's victims.
Employees of Amtrak are not limited by the $200 million cap. One Amtrak employee, who happened to be on board the train as an off-duty passenger at the time of the crash, filed his suit last week.
Could Have Been Mechanical Failure or Projectile
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the cause of the train derailment, which is still a mystery. No one knows why the locomotive was traveling at double the speed limit of 50 miles per hour while it was cornering a sharp curve just outside of Philadelphia. Even the train engineer -- who suffered a concussion -- said that he has no recollection of the events leading up to the crash. NTSB says investigators are looking into whether it was a mechanical problem or a projectile that struck the train.
The results of NTSB and other investigations will no doubt be deciding factors in the numerous personal injury and wrongful death suits that this tragic crash will incite. Therefore, it is vital that investigators stay open to all possibilities in order to unveil the truth. If the train engineer recovers his memory of the incident, his testimony will also play a vital role in any litigation.
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