There has been plenty of speculation about an apparent breakdown in communication that led to the death of two railroad workers in an Amtrak derailment near Chester in Pennsylvania on April 3. Now a wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against Amtrak in Delaware by the family of one of the workers who lost his life.
The claim which has been brought by the family of Joe Neal Carter Kr., was reported in Delawareonline..
The suit was filed by Philadelphia attorneys Tom Kline and Robert J. Mongeluzzi, who represent the family of Joe Neal Carter Jr.
Carter was a veteran of the railroad and a longtime Amtrak employee. He was killed just north of the Delaware line while operating a backhoe.
The claim said Carter believed the track was protected at the time he was hit by the train. It cites poor communication and a failure to adhere to appropriate practices and procedures.
The worker was operating the backhoe when he was struck by the southbound Amtrak train at 106 mph. He lost his life along with fellow worker Peter Adamovich.
The lawsuit questions Amtrak’s safety precautions. It says the railroad failed to adhere to its own safety rules and did not comply with safe industry standards.
The family is suing Amtrak under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) in a claim that includes medical and funeral expenses as well money to support Carter’s two children.
The Federal Railroad Administration conducted a wide-ranging investigation in the light of the crash that has examined relevant safety precautions for workers. Recently, I outlined how the FRA has announced a raft of safety measures to protect workers from trains.
The investigation into Chester accident has looked at whether the work crew received the correct safety briefing before beginning its shift, a requirement of federal safety rules. Some insiders have alluded to a failure to implement basic safety procedures before the wreck.
Reports suggested a shunt strap was not in use at the time of the accident, in violation of Amtrak’s rules. A full report is not expected until the end of this year.
If you have lost a loved one in a railroad accident or if you have been injured while working on the railroads, I would like to hear from you. Call us for a free consultation at (866) 455-6657.