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Amtrak Derailment Philadelphia (5/12/2015)


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#1041 jis

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 11:12 AM

OTOH, the AG may be displaying depraved and reckless political considerations ;)



#1042 Acela150

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 10:14 PM

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

 

No he didn't and wasn't... The (insert choice words here) kids that were throwing the rocks at the Septa train and Amtrak trains were the ones that were negligent and reckless. 


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#1043 jis

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 11:09 PM

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

 
No he didn't and wasn't... The (insert choice words here) kids that were throwing the rocks at the Septa train and Amtrak trains were the ones that were negligent and reckless. 
Unfortunately purely from a legal standpoint the kids are quite irrelevant as far as this case goes. Neroden is quite accurate as far as the legal situation relevant to this case goes.


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#1044 Acela150

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 11:16 PM

I'd have to disagree that the kids aren't responsible. The reason that the engineer was distracted was radio traffic as a Septa train got rocked. Those rocks didn't just fly on their own. Someone threw them. Which is reckless endangerment. This happens everyday on the NEC and only once has it lead to a derailment of this magnitude and it's the derailment in question. If these kids weren't out there throwing rocks, I'd venture to say the derailment would have never happened. 

 

If Tom Kline wants to hold someone responsible hold these kids responsible not the engineer. But Tom Kline doesn't get that. Cause he doesn't know a darn thing about the everyday things like this on the NEC. Ever since 188 I have a major hate for him. He's out for blood in this case. He needs to get over it. He's not a criminal attorney, he's a personal injury attorney. 


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#1045 SarahZ

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 11:39 PM

If kids throw rocks at cars and a driver swerves and strikes another driver because they were "distracted" by a bunch of kids hanging out near the road, that driver is at-fault for the accident.

 

The same logic applies here. Sure, some of the blame lies with the idiot kids who were throwing rocks, but as a driver, you are still responsible for maintaining control of your vehicle at all times.

 

Bostian did not have control over the train due to this distraction, but as Neroden pointed out, he was neither grossly negligent nor reckless. That's the key.


Edited by SarahZ, 14 September 2017 - 11:39 PM.

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#1046 jis

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 05:17 AM

I'd have to disagree that the kids aren't responsible. The reason that the engineer was distracted was radio traffic as a Septa train got rocked. Those rocks didn't just fly on their own. Someone threw them. Which is reckless endangerment. This happens everyday on the NEC and only once has it lead to a derailment of this magnitude and it's the derailment in question. If these kids weren't out there throwing rocks, I'd venture to say the derailment would have never happened. 
 
If Tom Kline wants to hold someone responsible hold these kids responsible not the engineer. But Tom Kline doesn't get that. Cause he doesn't know a darn thing about the everyday things like this on the NEC. Ever since 188 I have a major hate for him. He's out for blood in this case. He needs to get over it. He's not a criminal attorney, he's a personal injury attorney. 

That is a different case. To initiate that one has to first find the kids. In any case that does not absolve the Engineer of all his responsibilities. So I guess we will never agree on the point you are trying to make. So I guess we can save many electron flows by calling it quits.


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#1047 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 09:54 AM

I do agree with Acela150 on this one--although the engineer is not completely blameless, I agree that he was not grossly negligent or reckless.

 

I have always felt that there should have been more of an attempt to find the kids who threw the rocks. Or at least find where they threw them from and send the cops out there to be "visible."

 

Yes, of course they wouldn't be found, but not even addressing what they did just reinforces today's message that kids can run rampant and be hooligans with no repercussions.



#1048 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 11:39 AM

Actually, in the case of an automobile, someone throwing rocks is entirely different, both legally and conceptually.

Negligence is failing to operate with the fully expected due amount of care. Failing to do so makes you civily liable for your actions. The rocks presented no material danger to anybody- kids lobbing rocks at lexan are basically pissing in the wind. People throw rocks at trains- this has been going on forever. Engineers are expected to be able to handle a train that is having rocks thrown at it, or ignore reports of same over the radio. Failing to operate the train in this circumstance, ipso facto, is negligent.

The kids are guilty of a variety of offenses, but are not responsible for the fact that Bostian was negligent in performing as a reasonable train operating expert should in the event that somebody throws rocks at another train.

Gross Negligence is acting in a manner that the reasonable person can expect would lead to a problem. Bostian was distracted by a distracted event in the moment; this is negligent, but an honest era that could happen to any reasonably conscientious person. So he was not grossly negligent, and is therefore not criminally liable.

Willfulness is acting in a manner intended to cause problems. I'd Bostian were to, say, decide that instead of driving the train, he would lean back, look at the ceiling, and whack the alerter with his foot whenever it went off, that would be an example of willful negligence. Were he to do something on that order of magnitude, he'd be guilty of murder. But he sure as hell wasnt there.
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#1049 PVD

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 12:11 PM

Which is pretty much why the civil cases are done. Amtrak did not contest civil liability. The whole criminal thing was a red herring.



#1050 Just-Thinking-51

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 04:36 PM

Red herring, but the victims and there family want to think that this was not just a random accident.

Random events that cause death is and always will be hard to accept.

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#1051 Karl1459

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 07:17 PM

Actually, in the case of an automobile, someone throwing rocks is entirely different, both legally and conceptually.

Negligence is failing to operate with the fully expected due amount of care. Failing to do so makes you civily liable for your actions. The rocks presented no material danger to anybody- kids lobbing rocks at lexan are basically pissing in the wind. People throw rocks at trains- this has been going on forever. Engineers are expected to be able to handle a train that is having rocks thrown at it, or ignore reports of same over the radio. Failing to operate the train in this circumstance, ipso facto, is negligent.

The kids are guilty of a variety of offenses, but are not responsible for the fact that Bostian was negligent in performing as a reasonable train operating expert should in the event that somebody throws rocks at another train.

Gross Negligence is acting in a manner that the reasonable person can expect would lead to a problem. Bostian was distracted by a distracted event in the moment; this is negligent, but an honest era that could happen to any reasonably conscientious person. So he was not grossly negligent, and is therefore not criminally liable.

Willfulness is acting in a manner intended to cause problems. I'd Bostian were to, say, decide that instead of driving the train, he would lean back, look at the ceiling, and whack the alerter with his foot whenever it went off, that would be an example of willful negligence. Were he to do something on that order of magnitude, he'd be guilty of murder. But he sure as hell wasnt there.

 

I have to disagree with the nuances of a response to being "rocked". In Oregon we have had at least on incident where a person was killed directly by a rock thrown from an overpass penetrated a cars windshield and directly killed a person. That sets up a situation where a thrown object becomes a potentially lethal situation that a reasonable person would attempt to avoid. If the "rocking" incidents in PA are typically 4 oz pebbles then it could be considered just a nuisance, a 4 pound stone thrown into a 100mph train windshield could likely be quite another issue.

 

The issue of responsibility may not even rise to negligence if the loss of situational awareness was a reasonable consequence of the information overload from the "rocking", just as a driver loosing control after swerving to avoid a child suddenly running into the roadway.

 

That does not relieve Amtrak of its contractual liability from failing to safely transport its passengers. 



#1052 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 10:20 PM

Cars are different.
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#1053 Acela150

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 02:49 AM

 

I'd have to disagree that the kids aren't responsible. The reason that the engineer was distracted was radio traffic as a Septa train got rocked. Those rocks didn't just fly on their own. Someone threw them. Which is reckless endangerment. This happens everyday on the NEC and only once has it lead to a derailment of this magnitude and it's the derailment in question. If these kids weren't out there throwing rocks, I'd venture to say the derailment would have never happened. 
 
If Tom Kline wants to hold someone responsible hold these kids responsible not the engineer. But Tom Kline doesn't get that. Cause he doesn't know a darn thing about the everyday things like this on the NEC. Ever since 188 I have a major hate for him. He's out for blood in this case. He needs to get over it. He's not a criminal attorney, he's a personal injury attorney. 

That is a different case. To initiate that one has to first find the kids. In any case that does not absolve the Engineer of all his responsibilities. So I guess we will never agree on the point you are trying to make. So I guess we can save many electron flows by calling it quits.


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I can say that yes finding the kids would be extremely hard. But this is one reason I respect you so much Jis, you don't want to drag things out. I can easily agree that we disagree on this. ;) 

 

 

Actually, in the case of an automobile, someone throwing rocks is entirely different, both legally and conceptually.

Negligence is failing to operate with the fully expected due amount of care. Failing to do so makes you civily liable for your actions. The rocks presented no material danger to anybody- kids lobbing rocks at lexan are basically pissing in the wind. People throw rocks at trains- this has been going on forever. Engineers are expected to be able to handle a train that is having rocks thrown at it, or ignore reports of same over the radio. Failing to operate the train in this circumstance, ipso facto, is negligent.

The kids are guilty of a variety of offenses, but are not responsible for the fact that Bostian was negligent in performing as a reasonable train operating expert should in the event that somebody throws rocks at another train.

Gross Negligence is acting in a manner that the reasonable person can expect would lead to a problem. Bostian was distracted by a distracted event in the moment; this is negligent, but an honest era that could happen to any reasonably conscientious person. So he was not grossly negligent, and is therefore not criminally liable.

Willfulness is acting in a manner intended to cause problems. I'd Bostian were to, say, decide that instead of driving the train, he would lean back, look at the ceiling, and whack the alerter with his foot whenever it went off, that would be an example of willful negligence. Were he to do something on that order of magnitude, he'd be guilty of murder. But he sure as hell wasnt there.

 

I have to disagree with the nuances of a response to being "rocked". In Oregon we have had at least on incident where a person was killed directly by a rock thrown from an overpass penetrated a cars windshield and directly killed a person. That sets up a situation where a thrown object becomes a potentially lethal situation that a reasonable person would attempt to avoid. If the "rocking" incidents in PA are typically 4 oz pebbles then it could be considered just a nuisance, a 4 pound stone thrown into a 100mph train windshield could likely be quite another issue.

 

The issue of responsibility may not even rise to negligence if the loss of situational awareness was a reasonable consequence of the information overload from the "rocking", just as a driver loosing control after swerving to avoid a child suddenly running into the roadway.

 

That does not relieve Amtrak of its contractual liability from failing to safely transport its passengers. 

 

 

The "rocks" are always pieces of ballast. So imagine a piece of ballast going through your windshield at 100 MPH. The only place you see smaller ballast is in some yards known as "walking ballast". I used to work in a yard that had a small section of walking ballast. Think of walking ballast as tiny pebbles that's easy to walk on. I actually prefer regular ballast over the stuff that was in Morrisville. Cause at least in yards the ballast is packed down as it's walked on constantly.


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