Over a month has passed since Amtrak Train No. 188 derailed just outside of Philadelphia in a tragic accident that took the lives of eight passengers and injured over 200 others. In that time, both federal officials and private parties have launched investigations into the nature and cause of the crash. Victims and the families of victims have been active, too, filing personal injury lawsuits against Amtrak. According to a Legal Intelligencer article, Amtrak lawsuit plaintiffs are now seeking to consolidate their cases in a multidistrict litigation (MDL).
The MDL petition calls for all similar Amtrak lawsuits in different regions to be transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where the majority of the Amtrak derailment lawsuits have been filed. The Legal Intelligencer reports that 19 lawsuits involving 42 plaintiffs have been filed in various federal jurisdictions.
The MDL petition cites that according to the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act of 1997, a liability of $200 million is imposed for all damages arising from a single rail passenger accident, and that coordination would be beneficial. Amtrak lawsuit plaintiffs hope that centralizing the lawsuits will lead to swifter compensation and a higher degree of judicial efficiency.
The Amtrak derailment is still fresh in the hearts and minds of those who lost loved ones in the accident. We at Lopez McHugh extend our condolences and continue to keep the victims of the crash in our thoughts.