Passengers file suit against Amtrak after deadly crash
By Julia Marsh, Jamie Schram and Danika Fears
A barrage of lawsuits was filed against Amtrak on Monday over last week’s deadly derailment as authorities confirmed the train was not struck by a bullet before the crash.
FBI investigators found no evidence of gunfire, but they haven’t ruled out the possibility that another object hit it, the National Transportation Safety Board tweeted.
“Nobody thinks that projectiles caused the derailment," a law enforcement source told The Post.
“Speed was the main factor. The engineer [Brandon Bostian] could have panicked and sped up if a projectile hit the windshield, but unlikely."
It’s still unclear why the train was traveling at 106 mph, twice the speed limit, as it approached a curve in the track on May 12. The derailment killed eight people and injured more than 200 others.
A Swiss couple filed the first New York lawsuit against Amtrak, for operating the train in a “reckless, careless and negligent" manner. Tourists Steffen and Dorota Seidler, who are in their late 30s, were vacationing in Washington, DC, and were headed back to New York when the train went off the tracks, according to the Manhattan Supreme Court suit.
The Seidlers were hospitalized with neck and back injuries, and have to undergo physical therapy, the suit claims. “They were lucky," said their attorney, David Jaroslawicz.
Four other injured passengers and a train conductor also sued Amtrak on Monday, according to two separate complaints.
“Had proper precautions and safety measure been implemented by Amtrak and the train operator, this tragedy would have been prevented and countless innocent lives would not have been devastated," read one of the lawsuits, which was filed in Philadelphia.
Train conductor Emilio Fonseca, of Kearny, NJ, suffered broken bones and head trauma in the crash, according to another suit filed in Newark.
Amtrak didn’t comment on the pending lawsuits.
Three passengers killed in the crash were laid to rest Monday — including real estate executive Laura Finamore, 47, who was remembered at a service in Queens. Finamore’s three brothers were among those who carried her white casket out of St. Anastasia Church in Douglaston as hundreds of mourners hugged and cried.
Rachel Jacobs, a Michigan native living in Manhattan, and Bob Gildersleeve, 45, of Maryland, were also laid to rest.
Article posted by the NY Post