It has been announced that Amtrak has agreed to a pay out in a one of the largest railroad crash settlements in the history of the United States, in the amount of $265 million. The payout is the result of a court order recently issued on the claims that related to the high-speed derailment that occurred in 2015 in Philadelphia. Tragically, that Philadelphia derailment took the lives of eight and injured more than 200 individuals.
Judge Legrome D. Davis, of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania appointed two masters in order to evaluate the claims of each of the plaintiffs. The masters were tasked with then making recommendations as to the appropriate amounts each person or estate is to be rewarded as a result of the derailment. The factors that were and will continue to be taken into account include: plaintiff’s occupation; plaintiff’s lost earnings; plaintiff’s time out of work and plaintiff’s future medical expenses among other characteristics. Ultimately, the judge has the final approval and can modify any amount as is necessary.
The exact amount of total plaintiffs named to this claim is currently unavailable, but it is known that it exceeds 100 individuals and estates. This means that if the total damages exceeds the the court ordered capped amount of $265 million then each of the plaintiff’s claim will be decreased proportionality and if the total damages amounts to less than the $265 million, then the opposite will occur proportionality under the court order.
In December, the total amount of damages for a single railroad accident was raised from $200 million to $295 million. This new capped amount answered the vital questions of whether or not all the plaintiffs would be fairly compensated, which they would not have prior to the December mandate.