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Amtrak Derailment Philadelphia (5/12/2015)


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#1021 Acela150

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 04:34 PM

The old cap was 200 million, Congress raised it to 295 after this accident, I believe the settlement is 265.


Correct.
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#1022 Chessie

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 04:35 PM

Well, $265MM depending on how it's divided doesn't sound too bad to me. Due to my line of work I know people who are in a similar position (nothing to do with Amtrak) receiving practically nothing.

#1023 Acela150

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 06:14 PM

Per a local news station. PA's AG has decided to file charges.  :mellow:


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#1024 ainamkartma

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 08:37 PM

Per a local news station. PA's AG has decided to file charges.  :mellow:

 

New York Times confirms, on front page right now.

 

Ainamkartma



#1025 Acela150

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 02:03 PM

Mr. Bostian turned himself in this morning here in Philadelphia. Of course local media outlets were on hand. I'm posting from my phone. I'd attach a link if I wasn't.
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#1026 MARC Rider

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 05:11 PM

I think this brief "fair use" quote from Judge Orders Prosecutors to Charge Amtrak Engineer in Crash sums up the driving force:
 


 
The Amtrak complaint involves only the death of New York executive Rachel Jacobs, 39, who left behind a husband and 2-year-old son. Her father, a Michigan lawyer, had urged Williams to press charges.
"I just feel that my daughter's death needs to be vindicated. Here is a woman who died and nobody's being punished," the father, John Jacobs, told The Associated Press this week. "Somebody should be held responsible."

 
It seems that this may be more than someone looking for justice. It seems like they are possibly looking for revenge.
I think part of the driving force is the personal injury lawyers are out for blood. I think they convinced at least one family to file charges. Cause you don't see 7 other families out for blood. And it doesn't help that he father is a lawyer.

How does a misdemeanor conviction benefit a personal injury lawyer?

#1027 PRR 60

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 05:18 PM

 

 

I think this brief "fair use" quote from Judge Orders Prosecutors to Charge Amtrak Engineer in Crash sums up the driving force:
 

 
The Amtrak complaint involves only the death of New York executive Rachel Jacobs, 39, who left behind a husband and 2-year-old son. Her father, a Michigan lawyer, had urged Williams to press charges.
"I just feel that my daughter's death needs to be vindicated. Here is a woman who died and nobody's being punished," the father, John Jacobs, told The Associated Press this week. "Somebody should be held responsible."

 
It seems that this may be more than someone looking for justice. It seems like they are possibly looking for revenge.
I think part of the driving force is the personal injury lawyers are out for blood. I think they convinced at least one family to file charges. Cause you don't see 7 other families out for blood. And it doesn't help that he father is a lawyer.

How does a misdemeanor conviction benefit a personal injury lawyer?

 

 

The Pennsylvania Attorney General added a felony charge: causing a catastrophe.



#1028 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 06:51 PM

And why aren't the kids throwing rocks being held accountable? In my opinion (not that it counts) they are likely responsible and WERE performing. Criminal act.

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#1029 Acela150

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:42 PM

 

 

I think this brief "fair use" quote from Judge Orders Prosecutors to Charge Amtrak Engineer in Crash sums up the driving force:
 

 
The Amtrak complaint involves only the death of New York executive Rachel Jacobs, 39, who left behind a husband and 2-year-old son. Her father, a Michigan lawyer, had urged Williams to press charges.
"I just feel that my daughter's death needs to be vindicated. Here is a woman who died and nobody's being punished," the father, John Jacobs, told The Associated Press this week. "Somebody should be held responsible."

 
It seems that this may be more than someone looking for justice. It seems like they are possibly looking for revenge.
I think part of the driving force is the personal injury lawyers are out for blood. I think they convinced at least one family to file charges. Cause you don't see 7 other families out for blood. And it doesn't help that he father is a lawyer.

How does a misdemeanor conviction benefit a personal injury lawyer?

 

 

If you lived in Philadelphia those personal injury lawyers were out for blood from the beginning. 

 

 

 

 

I think this brief "fair use" quote from Judge Orders Prosecutors to Charge Amtrak Engineer in Crash sums up the driving force:
 

 
The Amtrak complaint involves only the death of New York executive Rachel Jacobs, 39, who left behind a husband and 2-year-old son. Her father, a Michigan lawyer, had urged Williams to press charges.
"I just feel that my daughter's death needs to be vindicated. Here is a woman who died and nobody's being punished," the father, John Jacobs, told The Associated Press this week. "Somebody should be held responsible."

 
It seems that this may be more than someone looking for justice. It seems like they are possibly looking for revenge.
I think part of the driving force is the personal injury lawyers are out for blood. I think they convinced at least one family to file charges. Cause you don't see 7 other families out for blood. And it doesn't help that he father is a lawyer.

How does a misdemeanor conviction benefit a personal injury lawyer?

 

 

The Pennsylvania Attorney General added a felony charge: causing a catastrophe.

 

 

Didn't know that. But at this point IMO the whole thing is politically motivated. I also agree with ThirdRail that this seems like someone is out for revenge. 

 

And why aren't the kids throwing rocks being held accountable? In my opinion (not that it counts) they are likely responsible and WERE performing. Criminal act.

 

While I agree with you. You go find the kids who threw the rocks. 


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#1030 greatcats

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:50 PM

I suppose it is procedure, but I was distressed to read that Mr Bostian was put in hsndcuffs. Awful.
I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.

#1031 RPC

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 07:47 AM

Sigh...so the district attorney office's official position is that a prosecution will be unsuccessful, but they're being forced to prosecute anyway. Dollars to doughnuts their original estimate is correct and this will all be a waste of time (except that the trial lawyers will get richer).



#1032 PRR 60

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 01:21 PM

My couple of comments:

 

Do I think the NTSB conclusion that a of lack of situational awareness was the probable cause of the accident? Yes, I do.  In fact, I thought so the day after the accident. I transposed the curve mileposts in that post on May 13, 2015, but that is what I thought the day after the accident, and the evidence obtained in the NTSB investigation increased my confidence that Mr. Bostian simply lost track of where he was on the railroad. The evidence suggests that Mr. Bostian came out of the right-hand curve at Second Street, thought he had just cleared the second Frankford Junction curve (also right-hand) and was entering 110mph territory.  Every throttle and braking action of the train up to the accident was that of a train under full engineer control. The SEPTA incident was 4-1/2 miles west of the accident site. Nothing in the 4-1/2 miles traveled after passing the disabled SEPTA train suggested incapacitation. He accelerated to increasing track speeds, and slowed for lower track speeds.  Even the acceleration to 106mph, with first full power, then reduced power as he approached what he may have thought was his 110mph target speed, was a normal, controlled acceleration to track speed - tragically the wrong track speed.

 

It there anything even remotely approaching a crime here?  Not in my opinion. The NTSB found the lack of situational awareness to be the "probable cause" of the accident, meaning the act or acts most likely to have cause the accident as compared to other possible causes.  A crime requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt - a much higher standard of proof than just "probable," and to be a crime, they also must show intent - essentially that Mr. Bostian knew he was unsure of his location and proceeded to go 106mph anyway.  Exactly how is any prosecutor going to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt with the evidence in-hand?  This is a political and PR prosecution. Oddly the Philadelphia District Attorney's office, with the DA presently under federal indictment for corruption, made the right call when they declined to prosecute due to a lack of evidence of a crime. It was the state Attorney General that reversed that call, and then double-downed by adding a felony charge. If there is any evidence of a crime, much less a felony, I sure can't see it.

 

A so-far unmentioned aspect of this criminal charge is the effect it could have on the NTSB's ability to investigate accidents.  The NTSB needs those involved in accidents to be willing and candid in describing what happened.  Here is a case where Mr. Bostian testified before the NTSB, and his testimony combined with the conclusions reached by the NTSB is now being used a basis for criminal charges against him - charges that are an extreme stretch at best.  Were I an attorney (I'm not) and representing anyone involved in a transportation accident, I would look at what happened to Mr. Bostian and advise my client to not say one word to anyone unless granted full immunity from prosecution no matter how innocent they may appear.  If the NTSB wanted my client to help them, but with the possible consequence that he or she might later be charged with a crime by some over-reaching prosecutor playing to the public and media, I'd tell them to go pound sand.  I suspect the NTSB is thinking the exact same thing and is not happy about this at all. 



#1033 Acela150

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 01:54 PM

Interesting comments Bill. 


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#1034 keelhauled

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:16 PM

It there anything even remotely approaching a crime here?  Not in my opinion. The NTSB found the lack of situational awareness to be the "probable cause" of the accident, meaning the act or acts most likely to have cause the accident as compared to other possible causes.  A crime requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt - a much higher standard of proof than just "probable," and to be a crime, they also must show intent - essentially that Mr. Bostian knew he was unsure of his location and proceeded to go 106mph anyway.  Exactly how is any prosecutor going to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt with the evidence in-hand?  This is a political and PR prosecution. Oddly the Philadelphia District Attorney's office, with the DA presently under federal indictment for corruption, made the right call when they declined to prosecute due to a lack of evidence of a crime. It was the state Attorney General that reversed that call, and then double-downed by adding a felony charge. If there is any evidence of a crime, much less a felony, I sure can't see it.

I am not a lawyer, but it sounds to me like they could bring criminal charges of manslaughter against Bostian--PA law states that "A person is guilty of involuntary

manslaughter when as a direct result of the doing of an unlawful act in a reckless or grossly negligent manner, or the doing of a lawful act in a reckless or grossly negligent manner, he causes the death of another person." I agree that a felony charge doesn't seem justified, but I also don't see any way that his actions weren't reckless or negligent, regardless of intention.


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#1035 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:33 PM

It's not reckless or negligent to acelerate to 106 mph in what you believe is 110 mph territory.

Adding to that a very valid distraction (train stopped in emergency and lots of radio chatter) I see a very clear way his actions weren't negligent or reckless.

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#1036 keelhauled

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 05:11 PM

But I would argue that it is at the very least negligent to think he was in the wrong territory to begin with. And I don't think that being distracted is a good excuse--it seems like part of the job description to remain in control of the train regardless of ones environment. If I were to hit and kill a pedestrian with my car because I was distracted by a particularly interesting news report on the radio I would certainly be criminally charged. I don't see why a train engineer should be held to a lower standard.

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#1037 jis

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 03:46 PM

Criminal charges against Bostian dropped by the presiding Judge:

 

http://6abc.com/judg...ineer-/2406745/

 

And from the Washington Post:

 

https://www.washingt...m=.4ae4f7f23d5d


Edited by jis, 12 September 2017 - 04:34 PM.


#1038 Ryan

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 08:28 PM

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#1039 neroden

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 07:27 PM

Based on what little I know of the law, Bostian was negligent, but not grossly negligent and not reckless.  So.


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#1040 LookingGlassTie

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 11:01 AM

@neroden

 

That's my thinking also; I don't feel as if Bostian displayed reckless or depraved indifference.


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