Pennsylvania Record

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Passenger cites Amtrak for multiple injuries in derailment

By Carol Ostrow | Jun 1, 2015

Shutterstock 155812997

A Pennsylvania passenger has sued a national transit carrier, alleging negligence in a fatal train derailment.

Blair Berman filed a lawsuit May 18, against National Railroad Passenger Corporation, also known as Amtrak, in U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleging negligence in a May 12 derailment near Philadelphia that killed eight people and injured more than 200.

According to the complaint, wayside signals should have alerted the operator of Train 188 to reduce its speed. The suit says Amtrak is responsible for Berman's injuries in failing to implement Positive Train Control (PTC), averring that PTC would have warned the crew of the need for reduced speed, was feasible and affordable, and is currently used in other domestic rail systems.

The suit faults Amtrak for failing to: properly train personnel; perform signal system and track inspections, maintenance and repair; install a proper speed-control system; and use shatterproof glass in its windows.

Berman cites: serious and disabling orthopedic injuries; physical, mental and emotional pain and suffering; loss of enjoyment of life; medical and rehabilitative expenses; and other psychological and neurological injuries, including diminished ability to perform everyday functions; and lost earnings and earning capacity.

The plaintiff alleges gross negligence and reckless conduct.

Berman seeks compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees and court costs. She is represented by Thomas Kline of Kline & Specter of Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number: 2:15-cv-02741-LDD.

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