Pennsylvania Record

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Ex-Amtrak engineer says company violated FELA in train collision with backhoe

By Nicholas Malfitano | Sep 6, 2017


PHILADELPHIA – A former Amtrak engineer claims the train transportation company violated the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) by failing to provide a safe workplace and causing him to be involved in a serious train collision more than one year ago.

Alexander J. Hunter of Avon-by-the-Sea, N.J., filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Aug. 24 versus National Railroad Passenger Corporation (doing business as “Amtrak”), of Philadelphia.

On April 3, 2016 at about 7:49 a.m., Hunter was operating Amtrak Train No. 89 southbound from Penn Station in New York, to Washington, D.C. As the train approached milepost 15.7 in Chester, Pennsylvania, Hunter became aware that there was a backhoe being operated on Track No. 3 directly ahead, the same track on which Train No. 98 was traveling.

Hunter immediately put the train, then traveling at 106 miles per hour, into emergency mode and sounded the horn for an extended period of time. Despite these warnings, the train struck the backhoe, being operated by Amtrak employee Joe Carter, the lawsuit says. In turn, the backhoe then struck Amtrak supervisor Pete Adamovich, the lawsuit says

As a result of this alleged incident, Hunter says he suffered serious personal and psychological injuries, including: left-sided chest pain, left elbow pain, anxiety with sleep disturbances, post-traumatic stress disorder and acute stress disorder.

Due to these injuries, Hunter says he has been disabled from his work as an Amtrak engineer (for which he was earning an annual salary of $150,000) and has not returned to his role since the day of the accident, April 3, 2016.

Hunter believes Amtrak violated FELA by negligently failing to provide proper track supervision, having the night shift foreman give up his fouls and failing to hold a job briefing and failing to provide a proper radio communications system, among other professional failures.

For one count of FELA violation, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus interest, costs, fees and such other and further relief the Court and jury shall deem appropriate.

The plaintiff is represented by William L. Myers Jr. of The Myers Firm, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170802326

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas