May 29, 2015 — Amtrak is facing several lawsuits after a train accident near Philadelphia earlier this month killed eight people and caused 200 injuries.
Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are still uncertain why the train suddenly accelerated from 70-mph to 106-mph — more than twice the posted speed limit of 50-mpg. Seconds later, the train derailed as it passed around a curve.
The engineer at the controls, 32 year-old Brandon Bostian, suffered a concussion in the accident and says he has no memory of what happened. He could face criminal charges if police decide his actions were reckless or negligent.
Lawsuits were filed by two tourists from Spain, including a man who almost lost his arm when it was pinned in the wreckage, NBC Philadelphia reports.
Another plaintiff, Deniel Armyn, is an advertising executive in New York who suffered broken ribs, torn ligaments, bruised lungs, a pelvic injury, and had several teeth knocked out.
Although no one knows what caused the crash, some say it could have been prevented. According to one lawsuit filed by Bruce A. Phillips, an Amtrak employee who was on his way to work when the accident happened, Amtrak should be held responsible for “failing to provide available, necessary and appropriate systems to slow and/or stop the train.”
CNN described the “positive control system,” which is a computer system that would automatically slow down or stop a train if it is not being operated safely.
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