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Amtrak Train Derailment Survivors Give Notice Of Lawsuit

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network

Six survivors of Monday's train derailment south of Tacoma have put Amtrak on notice that they plan to file a lawsuit. It's the first, probably inevitable, sign that various parties affected by the deadly train wreck are lawyering up.

The train wreck survivors retained a Chicago-based law firm with expertisein railroad and plane crash cases. Fresh from a visit to the scene of the Train 501 derailment, Clifford Law Offices Partner Michael Krzak said "the families want answers” to why this keeps happening. 

"If you look at the history of Amtrak over the past few years there have been a series of derailments similar to this one including the 2015 derailment in Philadelphia where, like here, the engineer was operating the train in excess of 50 miles per hour over the posted speed limit,” Krzak said.

Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson committed Wednesday to pay for the medical and incidental expenses of all of the crash victims and their families, according to a statement relayed by the Washington governor's office.

Krzak said his firm may seek additional punitive damages if it gets evidence of "flagrant indifference" to safety. 

Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network

Tom Banse covers national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reports from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events are unfolding. Tom's stories can be found online and heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.