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Lawsuit Alleges ‘Gross Negligence’ in Fatal South Carolina Train Derailment

An Amtrak passenger has filed a lawsuit against CSX alleging gross negligence in Sunday’s fatal train derailment in Cayce, South Carolina.

About the Fatal Train Derailment

According to The State, the passenger, identified as James Daymon of Florida, is seeking more than $75,000 in damages, claiming that the derailment was the result of “gross negligence” and “reckless disregard” of train safety standards.

The train derailment and crash occurred early Sunday morning and resulted in two deaths and more than 100 injuries. The crash is considered to be among the worst in recent South Carolina history.

Filings also allege that CSX made a “deliberate decision that it will be cheaper to pay compensatory damages for claims resulting from train wrecks and derailments than to install and maintain an appropriate train control system.”

The lawsuit also claims that CSX defied a 2008 federal law, the Rail Safety Improvement Act, by delaying action on modern safety technology called positive train control. The technology was supposed to be in place nationwide by December 31, 2015.

The Rail Safety Improvement Act was a response to the 2008 collision between a Union Pacific freight train and a Metrolink passenger train that resulted in 25 and injured 135.

Train and Railroad Accident Statistics

Train and railroad accidents cause thousands of injuries and accidents every year. In 2011 alone, there were 4,273 train and railroad accidents/incidents resulting in 290 fatalities.

Train derailments can be caused by:

  • Conductor negligence
  • Mechanical failure
  • Outdated train tracks
  • Poor track maintenance
  • Train derailment
  • Defective automatic warning devices
  • Collision with a vehicle
  • Collision with another train

Contact an Experienced Railroad and Train Accident Attorney

Injuries caused by railroad and train accidents are oftentimes severe and in some cases deadly. Medical bills, lost wages, and other damages can be obtained by suing the negligent parties involved, which may include the train or railroad company. You deserve to be compensated for your injuries. If you or a loved one were injured while riding on a train or while outside of a train, contact Thomas J. Henry.

Experienced train accident attorneys are available to take your call and evaluate your claim 24/7, nights and weekends. Our firm has offices in Corpus ChristiSan Antonio, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide.

Derailed Amtrak Train Was Traveling 80 MPH in 30 MPH Zone

Investigators have confirmed that Amtrak Train 501 was traveling at twice the posted speed limit when it careened off a bridge near Tacoma, Washington Monday morning, killing three and injuring more than 70 others.

What Investigators Know About the Amtrak Derailment

The Seattle Times reports that the train was on an inaugural trip along the new route which was meant to shave about 10 minutes off the trip from Seattle to Portland. The tracks are owned by Sound Transit and were recently upgraded under an agreement with the Washington State Department of Transportation.

In all, 12 rail cars and two engines were in use – all but one engine jumped the tracks. On the freeway below, five automobiles and two semi-trucks were damages by falling train cars and debris.

Two of the deceased have been identified as Zack Willhoite and Jim Hamre. Both were longtime rail advocates.

Preliminary evidence indicates the train was traveling at 80 mph when it derailed, well above the speed limit of 30 mph, and that the emergency brakes were not engaged prior to the crash. The engineer aboard the train had been on the stretch of track before.

What Investigators Will be Looking at Next?

Federal investigators have not yet interviewed the train’s engineers or crew members, all of whom were hospitalized. It is likely their testimony will provide invaluable insight on the events leading up to the fatal derailment.

Officials will also be working to figure out why the train was traveling at such a rapid speed when it derailed. It appears that an engineer and a new conductor were in the cab at the time of the crash. A second conductor was in a train car interacting with passengers.

Investigators will likely also examine track as well as operation and mechanics of the train for possible defects.

Multiple Dead, Dozens Injured in Washington Amtrak Derailment

UPDATE: New reports have corrected initial fatality counts, with the confirmed death toll falling to three.

Early reports indicate that at least six people are dead and more than 70 people have been transported to the hospital following an Amtrak train derailment near Lacey, Washington.

About the Fatal Washington Train Crash

According to KIRO 7, a high-speed Amtrak train derailed on an overpass about 60 miles south of Seattle Monday morning. The crash resulted in passenger cars landing on Interstate 5 below while other cars were left dangling over the highway.

An Amtrak spokesperson reported that roughly 78 passengers and five crew members were on board at the time of the crash. Multiple cars and trucks were struck by at least one of the derailed train cars. It is unclear how many of the deceased and injured were occupants aboard the train and how many were in passenger vehicles on the highway below.

The passenger train was on its inaugural trip along a new service route when the accident occurred. It was meant to provide service from Seattle to Portland.

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency. Area hospitals are requesting blood donations to help victims of the derailment.

NTSB to Investigate the Cause of the Fatal Derailment

Investigators and reporters are scrambling for some idea of what may have caused the derailment. While early reports indicated that excess speed could have been a factor in the crash, an official who was briefed on the investigation says preliminary signs suggest the Amtrak train may have struck something before going of the rails., a website which maps the locations and speed of Amtrak trains, says the train involved, Train 501, was traveling at a speed of 81.1 mph just before the accident.

In a series of tweets following the fatal crash, President Donald J. Trump opined that poor infrastructure may have also been a factor in the derailment and tragic loss of life.

The National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB, will be investigating the Amtrak train derailment.



Engineer Charged in Fatal 2015 Amtrak Crash

Reuters reports that the engineer involved in a deadly 2015 Amtrak train crash in Philadelphia has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Local prosecutors previously cleared the engineer of criminal wrongdoing earlier last week.

Charges Filed Just Before Two-Year Deadline

According to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Brandon Bostian has been charged with eight counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count of causing or risking a catastrophe, and numerous counts of reckless endangerment. Bostian is expected to surrender to authorities.

Bostian was initially cleared Tuesday as the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office claimed not to have enough evidence to bring charges. While the district attorney’s office had determined that the derailment was caused by the engineer operating the train far in excess of the posted speed limit, it found no evidence of criminal intent.

However, the charges were revived Thursday at the order of a Philadelphia municipal court judge. The order came just before the two-year deadline to charge Bostian.

Prosecutors have referred the case against Bostian to the Attorney General’s office to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

Details of the Deadly Amtrak Train Crash

The initial accident occurred May 12, 2015 when the Amtrak train entered a 50 mph curve at speeds in excess of 100 mph. The crash left eight people dead and more than 200 people injured.

Bostian filed a lawsuit against Amtrak in which he claimed something struck the train before the derailment, leaving him unconscious or disoriented; however, an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that nothing had struck the train and that Bostian was likely distracted by his radio when the crash occurred.

Amtrak has taken responsibility for the crash and have set aside $265 million for claims filed by victims and their families.

Over 100 People Injured When LIRR Train Crashes

According to a news report by the New York Post, a Long Island Rail Road train running late crashed into Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal causing it to be thrown off the tracks by the impact during rush hour on Wednesday morning. 103 people were injured.

About the Long Island Rail Road Accident

Several witnesses and victims came forward with their own statements on the accident.

Raj, 45, a Queens resident said she noticed the train was going “a little faster” as it approached the station near the Barclays Center. She said, “We’re standing there, and then it was a crash. We started falling on each other.”

Wendy Gerzog, 57, from Lawrence, LI​,​ was in the first car of the train when she was toppled over by the other victims of crash who had fallen on top of her. She said, “All of a sudden it was just like boom. I was at the bottom of the pile. Everyone was screaming. It was scary.”

Steve Miller, 46, a Park Slope resident, was just across the platform on Track 5 waiting to catch a train into Long Island when the crash occurred. He said, “It was like a crashing sound – like a really loud car crash. The train hit the end and came off the tracks. There was a screeching and the station quickly filled with dust and smoke.”

Aftermath of the Terrifying Crash

The victims were transported to Kings County Hospital, New York Methodist Hospital and Brooklyn Hospital for treatment.

New York City Governor Cuomo and MTA Chairman Tom Pendergrast say an investigation into the crash has officially begun. The National Transportation Safety Board has begun sending investigators to the scene of the accident.

The cause of the crash is still unknown.

Long Island Commuter Train Derails, 100+ Potentially Injured

train traveling on tracks

According to NBC New York, a Long Island Rail Road train derailed at a Brooklyn terminal station, causing injuries to over 100 people on Wednesday morning.

Platform Filled with Debris, Smoke

The train derailment occurred at around 8:30 a.m. local time when a train from Far Rockaway failed to stop at the Atlantic Terminal. Officials say the train, traveling at around 15 mph, smashed over the bumping block, sending the first train car off the rails.

NBC New York reports that 103 suffered from injuries in the crash – however, most injuries are believed to be minor. New York’s governor said the worst injury out of the incident may be a broken leg. The status of the train engineer was unknown. Some people involved in the crash complained of neck and back injuries. The number of victims that required hospitalization is unclear.

The train crash occurred at the height of the morning rush hour, according to NBC New York. The terminal was shut down due to the incident as crews cleaned up the glass and debris from the area. Four months ago, a train derailed and crashed into the Hoboken Terminal in New Jersey, killing one woman and injuring around 100 other people.

Train and Railroad Accident Statistics

Train and railroad accidents cause thousands of injuries and accidents every year. In 2011 alone, there were 4,273 train and railroad accidents/incidents resulting in 290 fatalities.

Train passenger injuries can be caused by:

  • Conductor negligence
  • Mechanical failure
  • Outdated train tracks
  • Poor track maintenance
  • Train derailment
  • Defective automatic warning devices
  • Collision with a vehicle
  • Collision with another train

Subway Transit Worker Dies, Another Injured in Accident

breaking news sign poster large words

According to NBC New York, two transit workers setting up a track for repairs sustained injuries after a train pins them both on Wednesday around midnight.

Third Worker in Area not Hit by Train

The MTA workers were inside a tunnel setting up an area of track for overnight repairs when the accident occurred. Two of the workers were struck by a train traveling around a curve, pinning them.

One of the workers, a 53-year-old man, received treatment at Maimonides Medical Center in critical condition, but the worker died from his injuries. According to NBC New York, the man suffered a cardiac episode.

The other worker, a 49-year-old man, suffered from injuries to his torso and received treatment at New York Methodist Hospital. NBC New York reports that he is in stable condition.

The New York City Transit office is investigating the accident.

Information on Train Accidents

The following information is provided by the Accident Data Center.

  • In the United States, about 300 people die in train-related accidents each year.
  • A portion of these deaths are suicides, but many are purely accidental.
  • Pedestrians trying to hitchhike onto a moving train often sustain serious injuries or death.

Train Derails in Long Island, Injures 29

train accident

According to Reuters, a Long Island Rail Road passenger train derailed on Saturday near New Hyde Park, New York. There were 29 people injured, and service was halted on the key transit line in both directions.

Details about the Train Derailment

There were no official details available on the circumstances of the incident.

The train derailed around 9:00 p.m. local time when a the passenger train struck a work train about 20 miles east of Manhattan, according to the police. It has not been made clear if the work train was stationary at the time.

Nassau County Executive told the news conference that 29 people were treated in hospitals for non-life threatening injuries such as broken bones and concussions. There were other people that were treated at the scene for scrapes and bruises.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that the 12-car train was heading eastbound on the railroad’s main line carrying about 600 passengers whenever the first three cars derailed a half-mile east of New Hyde Park Station.

Photos and Witness Accounts Paint Vivid Picture

There have been photos from the scene of the wreck that show two of the derailed train cars leaning upright but askew and partly off track.

Passengers that were on the train told the media that they saw sparks or fire outside of the windows after the train started shaking mildly. The train began shaking more violently afterwards and struck something and came to a halt. The train was moving at a normal speed before the incident occurred.

The New Hyde Park Station is east of the border with the New York City borough of Queens. The rail line is one of the busiest commuter routes into America’s largest city. However, the derailment forced suspension of service in both directions.

This accident occurred only 9 days after a passenger train crashed into a terminal in Hoboken, New Jersey, which is also another major commuter route. That crash killed one person and injured over 100 people.

Train Fatalities Statistics in New York City
  • According to Newsweek, between 2011 and 2014, there were 248 subway deaths in total in New York City.
  • On the LIRR, a total 84 deaths occurred between 2004 and 2013.
  • For Metro-North, there were 43 total deaths between 2004 and 2013.
  • On the LIRR, total fatalities increased 225 percent between 2004 and 2013.
  • The National Transportation Safety Board reports that railroad deaths went up 6 percent in 2013, to 891 from 840 in 2012.

UPDATE: Officials Update Casualty Numbers in Hoboken Train Crash


Officials are working to provide updates in connection with a fatal train accident that occurred in Hoboken. Early reports indicated as many as three people died as a result of the accident. At this time, one death can be confirmed.

Updated Information on Deadly Train Station Crash

According to NBC New York, a source close to the investigation says a woman in her 30s was killed in the train crash at a Hoboken, New Jersey, train station Thursday morning.

Accounts from officials at two area hospitals say that around 75 people are currently being treated for injuries sustained during the train crash. According to Reuters, other reports from a New Jersey Transit spokeswoman said that more than 100 people may be injured, many of them critically injured.

The crash occurred at approximately 8:45 a.m. local time. Although it is early in the investigation, reports are that the train crash was accidental or caused by operator error. Witnesses told NBC New York that the train never slowed down as it approached the station.

Similar to 2011 Wreck at same Station

Reuters reports that in May 2011, a train crashed at the same Hoboken terminal, causing more than 30 injuries when it failed to stop and crashed into the end of the track. The investigation into the 2011 crash revealed that high speeds were the cause.

Updates will be made throughout the day as more information is made available.

Three Dead, 100+ Injured after New Jersey Train Crashes into Station

According to NBC New York, a passenger train crashed into the Hoboken, New Jersey, terminal station, causing dozens of injuries and leaving the station with severe structural damage.

Trauma and Emergency Units sent to Scene

Initial reports out of Hoboken say the train crash was accidental, but investigators have yet to determine a certain cause. According to NBC New York, at least three people have been confirmed killed in the crash. In addition, at least 100 people are reported injured with many in critical condition.

According to passengers, the train was going very fast when it crashed into the terminal. NBC New York reports that a woman was pinned under concrete and that many people were bleeding.

In addition to the potential casualties and injuries involved in the crash, the Hoboken station suffered substantial structural damage to the supporting beams that hold up the canopy over the tracks.

Several trauma and emergency personnel have been sent to the train station. According to NBC New York, passengers said they received an assortment of minor injuries including cuts and bruises. Passengers have been transported to nearby hospitals for treatment.

Updates will be made as more information comes in regarding the train accident.

Train and Railroad Accident Statistics

Train and railroad accidents cause thousands of injuries and accidents every year. In 2011 alone, there were 4,273 train and railroad accidents/incidents resulting in 290 fatalities.

Train passenger injuries can be caused by:

  • Conductor negligence
  • Mechanical failure
  • Outdated train tracks
  • Poor track maintenance
  • Train derailment
  • Defective automatic warning devices
  • Collision with a vehicle
  • Collision with another train

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