Practice Area: 
Train Accident
Sub Practice Area: 
Train Accident
Case: 
Amtrak Train Crash
News Station: 
KYW-TV CBS 3
Video Description: 

By Kristen Johanson and Walt Hunter 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The first lawsuits in connection with the deadly Amtrak train derailment have been filed in federal court in Philadelphia, with lawyers saying the fault lies with the engineer and Amtrak.

Attorneys announced they’re filing federal lawsuits against Amtrak on behalf of six of the victims.

Investigators say the train was travelling more than twice the speed limit when it derailed, but they haven’t determined the cause of the crash.

But attorney Bob Mongeluzzi (second from left in photo below) puts the blame on the man at the helm of Amtrak 188.

“When you are an engineer, you have a sacred and solemn obligation to operate that train safely, to return those people home to their families who are waiting for them,” he said today.  “That was breached, recklessly.”

Mongeluzzi also claims that Amtrak failed to implement proper safety protocols.

“Automatic train control would have, in this instance, prevented this accident,” he said.

He adds, “It was scenes like something out of hell. Bodies laying about, people screaming.”

He and fellow lawyer Tom Kline (third from left in photo) have filed the first lawsuits.  So far there are six plaintiffs, but these attorneys say they are speaking with many of the victims, who describe the crash as a “certain kind of hell.”

Kline says, “The conduct here by the engineer is both unfathomable and unconscionable.”

The suit also cites Amtrak’s failure to install a speed-detecting safety device on the northbound track where the crash occurred after they had previously put one in on the adjoining southbound track.

The NTSB announced that the FBI has ruled the damage to the engine’s windshield was not caused by a bullet.

Amtrak did not immediately return our request for comment.