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Amtrak’s 2017 DuPont crash: Ex-engineer receives settlement

On Behalf of | Jul 16, 2022 | Railroad Accidents & FELA claims |

Five years after a catastrophic Amtrak train wreck in DuPont, Washington that resulted in three lost lives and numerous injuries, former engineer Steve Brown, who himself sustained significant harm in the accident, received a settlement from his ex-employer for his pain and suffering. Brown was the target of blame by both Amtrak and much of the general public following the crash.

However, a court found Amtrak at fault for the 2017 derailment. As a result, the corporation bears financial responsibility for the incident.

Amtrak tried to blame Steve Brown

The former locomotive engineer did not notice a speed limit change sign. Because of this, he was unable to slow down fast enough, and the train was at a speed of 80 mph in a 30 mph zone. In order to avoid financial liability, Amtrak had to prove an employee was solely at fault, Steve Brown in this case. However, a court granted him the right to sue the company.

Amtrak was negligent

The National Transportation Safety Board found that the accident was preventable. Amtrak failed to properly prepare Steve Brown. There were also other issues, including insufficient practice runs and lack of appropriate speed control software. There were also equipment issues that the corporation knew about. The board concluded that Brown was not at fault, but Amtrak and other involved parties were.

The Federal Employers Liability Act allows railroad workers to seek compensation for injuries as long as they were not completely at fault. It protects the rights of employees like Steve Brown who received a settlement to cover the harm suffered because of his employer’s negligence.