Multiple news outlets, including AP, CBS News, NPR, KYW, Legal Intelligencer, and the Philadelphia Business Journal, are reporting that a historic settlement has been reached in the May 2015 Amtrak derailment that happened in Philadelphia. The settlement, which is reportedly $265 million, was approved by a federal judge in Philadelphia yesterday morning. The Amtrak settlement will cover all pending claims that resulted from the deadly train crash involving Amtrak Train No. 188. The settlement is part of a multi-district litigation (MDL).
Fredric Eisenberg of Eisenberg Rothweiler Winkler Eisenberg & Jeck, PC is a member of the Plaintiffs’ Management Committee (PMC) appointed by the court for the MDL. He had this to say regarding the settlement, “We are all pleased that the process of compensation is now underway. The PMC worked diligently under the court’s supervision to establish a program to compensate all victims in an efficient and timely manner.” The PMC believes that the settlement will allow all the pending claims related to the Amtrak derailment to be paid out by summer 2017.
The derailment resulted in over 200 injuries, including eight deaths. Amtrak Train No. 188 derailed while on its way to New York. WHYY-TV reported that the train was going more 106 mph in a 50-mph zone as it rounded a curve, which led to it derailing. A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation concluded that the train’s engineer was distracted by news of another train being hit by a rock on the radio, which led to him mistakenly accelerate when he should’ve slowed down.
Why Is This Settlement Considered Historic?
The $265 million settlement represents the present value of the $295 Million federal damages cap for railroad accidents. The cap was raised from $200 million to $295 this past December. The change is largely credited to the work of plaintiffs’ lawyers and AAJ in the aftermath of the Amtrak Train No. 188 derailment to ensure that victims and their families received every bit of help they needed in the wake of this disastrous accident.
There’s no excuse for a train engineer losing control of a locomotive, because he or she was too engrossed in radio chatter. People lost their lives. Families will never be whole again. Catastrophic injury victims often face a lifetime of treatment, including rehab and physical therapy, and even then, they never fully recover. This can mean they can no longer continue working full-time due to their injuries, leaving their families with one less breadwinner or even the loss of their only source of income. As our history of successful verdicts and settlements proves, our firm fights for clients and their families, and we know how to get you the help you need.