Amtrak won’t contest liability in fatal derailment

 Emergency personnel work the scene of a train wreck May 12 in Philadelphia after an Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)

Emergency personnel work the scene of a train wreck May 12 in Philadelphia after an Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)

Amtrak will not fight liability in the first lawsuits filed over a fatal crash in Philadelphia that left eight people dead.

 

Amtrak admitted in court papers Friday that the train was speeding when it derailed and pledged to compensate victims.

“From the beginning, Amtrak has taken responsibility for this tragic incident, covering initial medical costs, transportation and lodging for passengers and their families,” said Amtrak spokesman Craig Schulz in a statement late Friday. “Consistent with this, and per our filing, we are not contesting liability for compensatory damages caused by the derailment.”

But Congress limits Amtrak’s liability to $200 million per incident. Courts may ultimately decide how that money is divided in the Philadelphia crash.

The passengers killed include business leaders, a Naval Academy cadet and an Italian wine broker.

About 200 others also were injured in the May 12 crash. Investigators say the train was going more than 100 mph.

Amtrak’s statements Friday came in response to lawsuits filed by lawyers Thomas Kline and Robert Mongeluzzi.

They say they hope to learn more about what caused the crash.

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