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Robert Gildersleeve Jr., 45, who was the vice president of a food safety company ‘Ecolab’, was killed along with 7 other people when the Amtrak train derailed after approaching a sharp curve at the speed of over 100 mph. Over 200 people were injured in the accident.
The wrongful-death lawsuit was filed on June 29 on behalf of Gildersleeve’s wife Danna, 2 children and his parents.
Legally thanks to the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act,, Amtrak is capped at a maximum of $200 million in damages to all victims of a single accident, including the Amtrak Northeast Regional train bound for New York City derailed and crashed on the Northeast Corridor in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“The aggregate allowable awards to all rail passengers, against all defendants, for all claims, including claims for punitive damages, arising from a single accident or incident, shall not exceed $200,000,000.
As much as this sounds like, consider that this amount must be split between 238 passengers and 5 crew, with grievances reaching from injury to permanent disability to death. This amount must cover lost income and medical expenses for the 200+ injured, and the millions in compensation of lost income for family members killed.
Is it time for new law? Is there any reason why train systems cannot carry adequate insurance the way airplanes do?