It has been 2 years since the tragic Amtrak accident that occurred on the night of May 12, 2015. The incident resulted in the deaths of 8 people, while more than 200 were also injured.
On that fateful night, Amtrak Train 188 operated by engineer Brandon Bostian left the main Philadelphia on the way to New York. On its way, the train which had 5 crew members and 238 passengers derailed and crashed.
According to the subsequent investigation, Bostian was listening to radio chatter regarding a train nearby that was stopped after being hit by a rock. After passing the stopped train, Bostian became distracted and lost situational awareness. Somehow, he let the train speed up to 106 mph on a curve that was only suitable for speeds of up to 50 mph. The train derailed as a result.
Many were shocked and aghast at the devastation and the loss of life caused by the train accident. More than 125 separate civil suits had been filed by passengers and family members of the victims against the Amtrak company. Congress even increased the cap on liability for the Amtrak incident from $200 million to $295 million.
However, Amtrak was quickly able to reach a settlement agreement with the people who have filed suit against the company. The agreement called for a $265 million settlement to be paid to affected passengers, including those who have not filed suit yet. The amount of the settlement is $30 million less than the maximum, but the attorneys for the passengers admit that the quick settlement offers a better deal for the plaintiffs compared to a protracted lawsuit that can take many more years to resolve.
Bostian, the engineer who was deemed responsible for the accident, was also charged with 8 counts of involuntary manslaughter, in addition to other charges of reckless endangerment and causing a catastrophe. The charges were filed by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office.
The National Transportation Board that spearheaded the investigation concluded that there were no drugs or alcohol involved. Bostian was also properly trained and an experienced engineer. The NTB concluded that the accident was caused by human error and that Bostian was distracted into committing a mistake.
Previously, the Philadelphia DA announced that his office would not press charges against Bostian because there was no evidence of criminal intent. However, the Philadelphia Municipal Court President Judge ordered the DA to charge Bostian. Since the Philadelphia DA’s office had already announced its decision not to press charges, the case was referred to the state attorney general. Charges against Bostian were filed just a few hours before the statute of limitations expired.
Train Accident Injury Lawsuits
If you’re ever involved in a train accident, it’s advisable that you consult with experienced train accident lawyers who can study your case and explain your legal options. Train accidents and bus accidents can cause serious injuries that may require exorbitant medical expenses. The damages and settlement money we can obtain on your behalf can help make sure that all these expenses are covered.