Amtrak Hit With First Lawsuit on Fatal Crash


     PHILADELPHIA (CN) – An Amtrak employee is the first person onboard the train that derailed on May 12, killing eight people, to file a federal complaint against the railroad.
     The Thursday federal complaint says plaintiff Bruce Phillips was “deadheading” – being transported from one location to another without working on the train – on the ill-fated Train 188 when it spun off a bend “at twice the legal track speed limit.”
     When the train en route to New York from Washington, D.C, derailed at approximately 9:23 p.m., it was near the Frankford Junction, in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia, according to the complaint.
     The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported Wednesday that the train was apparently traveling at about 106 mph, despite a posted speed limit of 50 mph. All 243 passengers, including five Amtrak employees have been accounted for. Investigators say the crash killed eight and injured 144.
     Phillips says he “was violently hurled about the railcar, striking his body on numerous parts of the railcar interior, before slamming onto the floor.”
     The ordeal caused “traumatic brain injury, multiple contusions and lacerations of the body, and multiple orthopedic, and neurological injuries,” according to the complaint.
     NBC Philadelphia reports that Phillips is still being treated at Temple University Hospital.
     Phillips’s wife, Kalita, is also a plaintiff in the suit, alleging deprivation of “companionship and consortium.”
     The Phillipses seek punitive damages for violations of the Federal Employers Liability Act, common law claims and loss of consortium.
     They are represented by Robert Myers of Coffee Kaye Myers & Olley.

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