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The family of an Amtrak worker who was killed in a train crash near Chester PA on April 3 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the rail company.

The 61 year-old man was one of two men who died on the tracks in the early morning crash just north of the DE state line.

According to the family’s attorney, the man was a 40 year Amtrak veteran who was working on a back hoe on a track he was led to believe was shut down and protected. However, the attorney continued, due to alleged lack of communication and alleged inappropriate safety policies, the man lost his life.

The Amtrak worker was running a backhoe when a southbound Amtrak train came barrelling down the track at 106 MPH. The train caught the worker and his colleague unaware on the track. They both were hit and died at the scene. The family has filed suit for all possible damages under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA).

The lawsuit questions the safety procedures of the rail company when maintenance is being done on a track. It cites a failure to follow the company’s own rules and federal regulations to ensure worker safety.

Our Take

As experienced FELA attorneys in Virginia who have worked with injured railroad workers on many cases, we know well where safety improvements have been made after railroads have been exposed to serious financial liability through large settlements and jury verdicts. Our attorneys have worked actively to coordinate the exchange of information regarding dangerous railroad hazards with other attorneys who represent injured railroad workers, or their families where the worker is deceased.

We hope that the above FELA lawsuit will result in major safety improvements at Amtrak and at other railroads. It appears that the communication systems and procedures at Amtrak were inadequate and may have sent a passenger train down a train that workers thought was inactive.

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