Personal Injury

Amtrak lawsuits mount in wake of deadly Philadelphia crash

Amtrak derailment Philly image by Google 373x210 Amtrak lawsuits mount in wake of deadly Philadelphia crashLawsuits continue to mount against Amtrak and engineer Brandon Bostonian alleging the reckless operation of Train 188 caused it to derail and crash in Philadelphia May 12, causing serious personal injuries and other hardships.

Newlyweds Declan MacFarland, 34, and Kathryn Varnum, 33, are the latest to file a lawsuit blaming Amtrak for injuries. The couple was on their way to New York from a family visit in Virginia when the train crashed.

A lawyer representing the couple told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Varnum received multiple hip and spine fractures and MacFarland received a concussion and other injuries. They were traveling in the third rail car, which careened off the tracks and rolled onto its side.

Additionally, Mr. MacFarland, a native of Ireland, had a job interview scheduled for the following day. Varnum, a public relations professional, was supposed to meet with a client, the Inquirer reported.

“If Amtrak had chosen to do the right thing, to take the proper safety precautions, then this tragedy could have been prevented,” their lawyer told the Inquirer. “We are going to do everything in our power to see that Amtrak is held accountable for its negligent and reckless actions.”

On May 29, Amtrak passengers James and Bettylynn Pellett sued the rail company in Monmouth County, N.J., Superior Court, alleging it acted “negligently, carelessly and recklessly” by failing to install an automated speed regulator that would have slowed the train as it sped out of control. It is not clear why Mr. Bostian allowed the train to reach excessive speeds and reacted too late as it started to tip off the tracks.

The crash killed eight people and injured more than 200 others.

The Pellett’s lawyer told the New Jersey Law Journal that Bettylynn Pellett was “seriously injured, had multiple surgical procedures and she remains hospitalized.”

Trevor Beddoe, 35, of Queens, N.Y., also filed a lawsuit against Amtrak recently for negligence and recklessness. According to his complaint, filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Mr. Beddoe suffered “catastrophic and disabling injuries” including a traumatic brain injury; fractured clavicle, shoulder, and ribs; lung trauma; and other internal injuries, in addition to multiple lacerations and orthopedic injuries.


Philadelphia Inquirer
New Jersey Law Journal
Philadelphia Confidential