Fifteen passengers of a Texas tour bus struck by a CSX freight train in Biloxi, Mississippi, last month have joined a lawsuit along with some of their family members against the railroad company seeking $250 million in damages.
The Biloxi bus crash lawsuit, filed in Harris County state court in Houston, claims that the conductor of the CSX train had more than adequate time to bring the freight train to a stop when he became aware of the bus straddling the tracks.
The Texas tour bus was carrying 46 people from the Austin, Texas, area, most of them members of the Bastrop Senior Center. The group was touring the Gulf coast and the bus was headed from one Mississippi casino to another when it became stuck at a railroad crossing with an elevated track and low ground clearance.
The CSX train plowed into the 20-plus-ton charter bus and pushed it down the tracks more than 200 feet. The impact killed four people and injured more than 40, many of them seriously.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs say there have been at least 17 train and vehicle accidents at the same crossing, including at least two accidents in the last two years involving large vehicles that became stuck on the tracks.
“Our preliminary investigation reveals that CSX and others knew that this crossing needed attention … Out hope is that through these efforts, we can do something here such that this type of thing never happens again,” lawyers for the plaintiff said in a statement.
In addition to CSX, the lawsuit also names as defendants Texas-based Echo Transportation and its parent company the TBL group, Diamond Tours, the organizer of the trip, and ABC Companies.