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Amtrak Settlements Forcing Victims to Stay Mum

Posted on Aug 25, 2016

AmtrakOften when those who are injured in an accident or the surviving family members bring suit against a large company, settlements are reached and details are not disclosed.  If a settlement is substantial, there could be a confidentiality agreement. Such agreements may prevent plaintiffs from discussing the amount of the settlement or even details about their injuries or current state of health once the case is settled.

It appears that such agreements have quietly been reached between Amtrak and at least some of the victims of a deadly derailment accident that happened in Philadelphia in May of 2015. The accident left eight people dead and more than 200 others injured when a train from Washington to New York derailed when it hit a sharp curve.

The first cases began this past week. Attorneys close to the matter say that such strict confidentiality provisions have been built into settlement documents that prevent them or their clients from discussing how much money they received in the settlement or their current state of health.

There are still dozens of additional lawsuits that are currently pending against Amtrak.

The NTSB investigation revealed that the engineer had been distracted by word that a nearby train had derailed after it struck a rock on the track and lost its track. Instead of decelerating the locomotive to the 50 mph speed limit, the engineer instead increased the speed of the train to 106 mph causing the train to derail.

While Amtrak has taken responsibility for its role in the crash and says that it won't oppose claims for compensatory damages like medical expenses, the amount for potential payouts has been capped at $295 million under federal law. Attorneys representing plaintiffs in the case indicate that this amount may very well run out with the number of deaths and serious injuries connected to the accident are settled.

On Long Island and throughout the New York area, we have been blessed with the most extensive and reliable railroad systems in the world. Unfortunately, accidents can happen at any time that leaves passengers or workers seriously hurt or killed.  At the law firm of Goldstein & Bashner, we have more than 25 years of experience representing clients in personal injury accidents. Call us today at the number on your screen to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your railroad injury case and find out how we can help.

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