PHILADELPHIA, PA (February 4, 2018) – Trial attorneys Thomas R. Kline, of Kline & Specter PC, and Robert J. Mongeluzzi, of Saltz, Mongeluzzi, & Bendesky, P.C., are calling for immediate installation across the U.S. of Positive Train Control (PTC) life-saving braking systems in the aftermath of this morning’s catastrophic crash in which Miami-bound Amtrak train #91 struck a CSX freight train in Cayce, S. Carolina, near Columbia. At least two (both Amtrak crew members) of the nearly 140 passengers on the Amtrak train have been reported killed along with more than 70 injured, including a Philadelphian.
“It is too early to know the exact cause of this catastrophe, but not to early to again assert that this is the type of tragedy that fully implemented PTC systems are designed to prevent. The American people are tired of excuses. They are losing trust confidence in Amtrak, questioning whether its national passenger rail system can operate safely,” said the veteran, Philadelphia-based rail accident litigators. “Amtrak safety failures, once considered rare, are practically commonplace,” they added, noting the December fatal derailment near Tacoma, Washington, and last week’s crash in Virginia, in which many members of Congress were injured. “Rail safety must be taken more seriously – immediately – and we must never reach a point where the loss of any life is considered anything short of catastrophic.”
Mr. Mongeluzzi and Mr. Kline have represented victims in numerous catastrophic commuter railroad accidents, including the May 12, 2015 fatal derailment of Amtrak Train #188 in Philadelphia. That incident underscored systemic safety failures by Amtrak, resulted in Congress substantially increasing the maximum amount paid to victims in a single Amtrak accident, and resulted in a record $265 million settlement.