The family of a businessman from Sardinia, Italy, who was killed in the Amtrak 188 crash in Philadelphia on May 12 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the railroad company.
Giuseppe Piras, 39, was visiting the U.S. for two weeks to sell olive oil and wine in New York City when his travels led him aboard Amtrak Train 188, a commuter line running from Washington D.C. to New York City. The train derailed as it entered a curve going more than 50 mph over the speed limit, causing the front train cars to topple over and crash.
The crash killed eight passengers including Mr. Piras. More than 200 other passengers and Amtrak crew members were injured.
Mr. Piras’ family told the New York Daily News that Giuseppe was an avid cyclist who loved the United States. His brother Antonio flew to the U.S. after the crash to make preparations for Giuseppe’s body to be returned to Italy, where it is customary to bury people the day after death.
The family’s distress was further compounded when Mr. Piras’ remains were transferred from Philadelphia to a funeral home in New Jersey, requiring paperwork to be completed in two states and delaying the return of his body by two weeks.
A representative of Mr. Piras’ family filed the wrongful death lawsuit against Amtrak July 16 in a federal court in Philadelphia. The complaint also names conductor Brandon Bostian, who was operating the train when it crashed.
The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Boatian failed to control the train’s speed and Amtrak failed to equip the train with safety technology that would have sounded an alert and corrected for speed, likely preventing the crash.
Mr. Piras’ family seeks damages exceeding $150,000 plus attorney fees and other related expenses.