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Charges Reinstated in Philadelphia Amtrak Crash

May 21, 2020

PHILADELPHIA, PA- writes that charges resulting from an Amtrak crash are back on the table. The crash left eight people dead and led to a lawsuit against an Amtrak engineer who was controlling the train at the time of the deadly wreck.*

The engineer’s attorney argued to dismiss some of the charges claiming that the man’s actions failed to constitute a crime. The lower court agreed with the defendant and dismissed the reckless endangerment and involuntary manslaughter charges. The Superior Court has now overruled that decision, and the counts are back in play. 

In his decision to overturn the lower court’s ruling, the judge stated that factual determinations were required in order to decide whether there was enough evidence to support the plaintiff’s claims. As such, a jury would need to weigh in on the case. 

The Attorney General stated that the state is pushing forward in an effort to obtain justice for those who lost loved ones on the tragic crash. He stated that the families and the injured individuals deserve to have closure. 

The incident took place when the train, which was heading to New York, derailed as it turned around a curve in the track. Investigations found that the locomotive was traveling more than double the speed limit at the time of the wreck. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the engineer had become distracted by radio chatter. Nothing indicated that the defendant was impaired or using his phone.

Amtrak has already paid out $265 million in settlements to the victims of the crash or their families. The railroad has since added technology capable of automatically slowing or stopping trains on the Boston-to-Washington lines. 

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Category: Personal Injury

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.