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Multiple Suits Filed Against Amtrak for Injuries Suffered From the Crash of Train 188

Photo of Brant Stogner

On Monday, May 18, 2015, four passengers of Train 188 sued Amtrak in federal court in Philadelphia for injuries suffered from the crash that occurred while the train was in route from Washington D.C. to New York City. Additionally, two other suits were filed Monday, one in federal court in Manhattan and the other in state court in Newark.

As a result of the crash that occurred May 12, 2015, eight people lost their lives. More than 200 people were treated at area hospitals with various injuries. One of the passengers who filed suit in Philadelphia on Monday was Felicidad Redondo Iban. Due to the crash, Mr. Iban has had multiple surgeries to save a nearly severed right arm from amputation.

The Train 188 crash was the deadliest in the Northeast Corridor since 1987, when sixteen people died in a crash near Baltimore. Significantly, both crashes were caused by the engineer's failure to reduce the train's speed. In the Train 188 derailment, the train entered a four-degree left curve at the railroad's Frankford Junction going 106 mph in a 50 mph reduced speed area.

Regrettably, prior to the crash, Amtrak had the ability to install safety technology that would have slowed the speeding train. Although the train was controlled manually, it had been equipped with positive train control, which can stop a train automatically, or slow the train regardless of engineer input. The positive train control had not been operational when the crash occurred because of budgetary deficits, technical obstacles, and bureaucratic rules. The system requires wireless frequencies to make it work and Amtrak had not purchased the rights to the airwaves in the Northeast Corridor. If the system had been operational, the crash most likely would not have occurred.

A train crash can cause many different injuries and have devastating consequences. If you or someone you know was injured or killed in an accident involving a train, it is important to understand your right to recover. Contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 1-800-594-4884 for a confidential consultation.

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