On May 12, 2015, a devastating derailment of a Pennsylvania Amtrak train occurred. The Amtrak train was occupied by a little over 240 people when the accident transpired. The derailment ensued while the train was traveling at over double the intended speed limit as it approached a curve. Also, the derailment occurred while the engineer responsible for driving the train was reportedly (according to the National Transportation Safety Board) distracted by radio traffic.
Of those on board, approximately 200 people sustained injuries and eight individuals were killed as a result of the Amtrak derailment.
Subsequently, several lawsuits have been brought by the passengers and employees of Amtrak that were negatively affected by the May 2015 derailment of the Pennsylvania Amtrak train. Currently, Amtrak is in the settlement process and, in a couple of those lawsuits, Amtrak has agreed to settlement terms with those that have brought suit.
This 2015 derailment put the spotlight again on the past $200 million liability limit of single railroad accident of Amtrak, under an Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act from 1997. Consequently, the liability limit saw a hefty raise due to a bipartisan transportation bill passed by legislation in December 2015 that elevated the liablilty limit to $295 million for Amtrak.
The details of the completed settlements and the settlement amounts are under confidentiality provisions according to those close to the situations.
One of the victims of the derailment that has resolved their lawsuit through the settlement process is a woman from Lyndhurst, New Jersey. She suffered a permanent disability as well as various injuries to her jaw, back, hip, teeth and hip during the derailment.
Also, a New York woman who was thrown across the train during the derailment has completed the settlement process. As a result of the Philadelphia Amtrak derailment, the New York female suffered broken bones, cracked ribs and a concussion. The female, who was pregnant at the time of the derailment, also feared that negative side effects may affect her unborn child due to the accident. Information of the health status of the women and her child are confidential.