Wrongful death suit filed over Amtrak derailment

Kasey Schefflin-Emrich Jul. 23, 2015, 3:11pm


PHILADELPHIA - A New Jersey woman whose husband was a passenger on an Amtrak train that derailed in May is suing the transportation company, alleging injuries led to his death.

Jacqueline Mercita Gaines, individually and as administrator of the estate of James Marshall Gaines III, filed a lawsuit June 29 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, also known as Amtrak, alleging negligence, outrageous misconduct and wrongful death.

According to the complaint, James Marshall Gaines III was aboard Amtrak train No. 188 on May 12 when it derailed near Frankford Junction in Philadelphia, resulting in one car flipping over and several others being thrown onto their sides. The accident killed eight passengers and injured more than 200, including James who suffered a severe chest wound during the derailment and died the next day in the hospital.

The suit says James' injuries were the result of the defendant's careless, reckless and outrageous conduct in operating the train. Amtrak is faulted with allowing the train to travel more than twice the legal speed limit as it approached a dangerous curve, failing to implement the train to a PTC or other speed limiting system, failing to train the crew and operator aboard, hiring an incompetent operator, and failing to inspect the train and tracks.

Jacqueline Gains seeks compensatory and punitive damages, plus attorney fees and court costs. She is represented by attorney Theodore Schaer of Zarwin, Baum, DeVito, Kaplan, Schaer & Toddy in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number: 2:15-cv-03620

-LDD.

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