RPWB attorney Dave Butler represent passengers injured in the Feb. 4, 2018 Amtrak train wreck in Cayce, South Carolina that sadly killed two railroad employees and injured more than 100 passengers. If you or a loved one was injured in the crash, please contact us immediately to learn about your rights and the potential for compensation.
In the early morning hours of Feb. 4, the passenger train was travelling nearly 50 mph when it suddenly veered from the main line and slammed into a parked CSX freight train, killing the two conductors and injuring more than 100 passengers. Many of those on board were rousted from their sleep in most violent fashion. Initial comments made by NTSB investigators indicate the cause of the wreck was an improperly aligned switch. Warning signals were apparently out of commission at the time due to a long overdue conversion to positive train control safety measures.
Despite a 2008 legal mandate to implement positive train control measures, or the ability to monitor and control trains and tracks remotely, less than 50 percent of our nation’s railways have made the conversion. The current deadline at the end of this year likely will be extended to 2020.
A recent search of the Federal Railroad Administration’s accident database indicates that improperly aligned switches remain a leading cause of train crashes. Between January 2012 and November 2017, there were 2,038 incidents reported in which a switch was improperly aligned.
The February train crash in Cayce demonstrates the real human toll of these preventable errors that occur all too frequently throughout the United States. It caused the most damage of the past 150 South Carolina rail incidents since 2008 combined, according to the NTSB preliminary report released on February 28, 2018.. We hope that it serves as a wake-up call that the railroad industry needs to move faster and more thoughtfully on implementing this technology.
It was also a switching error that led to South Carolina’s largest train disaster. In January 2005, a freight train carrying hazardous materials was diverted off the mainline and struck a parked train in Graniteville. The wreck and explosion killed nine people, injured more than 250 people and destroyed a significant part of Avondale Mills. Chlorine gas released during the crash forced 5,400 people from their homes. Terry Richardson served as co-lead counsel of the consolidated litigation, and was assisted by Dave Butler.
It saddens us how little has changed since Graniteville. We urge railroad companies and the federal government to speed up efforts to improve railroad safety. In the meantime, we will continue to do our part by holding railroad companies accountable in court.
RPWB attorneys can also help railroad employees injured in work-related accidents or suffering from occupational diseases. We can file suit against employers or other railroad employees under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). These are not workers’ compensation actions. And, unlike workers’ compensation actions, in a FELA action, if negligence is proven, workers can receive much higher amounts. RPWB attorneys have represented railroad workers in such cases with significant success.
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Jan 22, 2024
Gordon Rhea Wins USVI Bar Association’s Highest Honor
RPWB of counsel attorney Gordon Rhea was honored with the highest award during the Virgin Islands Bar Association’s annual meeting on December 8, 2023. The award ceremony highlighted Rhea’s dedication to the legal profession and his commitment, dedication and valuable contributions to the people of the Virgin Islands. The Winston A. Hodge Award for Public […]READ MORE
Nov 27, 2023
RPWB Represented a Whistleblower who Helped the Federal Government Recoup $1.7 million
ORLANDO, Fla. – The federal government has recouped $1.7 million from a healthcare provider who fraudulently billed Medicare and TRICARE for medical procedures that were not deemed necessary and were performed by an unqualified technician. In the settlement agreement, Jena Medical Group LLC, as well as several individuals associated with the company, have agreed to […]READ MORE
Oct 17, 2023
Local Non-Profit to Receive $500,000 to Help Low Income Households Save Money on Power Bills
CHARLESTON, S.C. – A local energy conservation non-profit will receive nearly $500,000 to help low income residents in Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry counties conserve energy and save money on energy bills. The Sustainability Institute will receive $484,345.89 in unclaimed monies from the 2021 settlement of the class action lawsuit Hearn v. Santee Cooper. The case […]READ MORE
Oct 02, 2023
RPWB Announces the Passing of J. David Butler
It is with great sorrow and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our friend, colleague and law partner, J. David Butler on September 30, 2023, after a valiant three-year battle with cancer. He was a friend to all and was, quite simply, the nicest guy one could have the pleasure of knowing. Dave […]READ MORE
Aug 21, 2023
17 RPWB Attorneys Selected for Best Lawyers in America List
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C – Seventeen RPWB attorneys were selected for the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® list for numerous practice areas including personal injury, product liability, mass tort, class action, qui tam and medical malpractice litigation. This marks the seventh consecutive year in which RPWB is the top-listed plaintiff law firm in […]READ MORE
May 01, 2023
Trial Lawyer Deon Tedder Joins RPWB
Trial attorney Deon Tedder has joined Rogers, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC, where he will focus on personal injury, mass torts and criminal defense work out of the firm’s Mount Pleasant and Columbia offices. Tedder joins RPWB after working at David Aylor Law Offices for the past five years, where he helped many clients in […]READ MORE
Feb 03, 2023
Johnson & Johnson Talc Bankruptcy Petition Dismissal is a Win for Mesothelioma and Ovarian Cancer Victims
By Dave Butler In a significant victory for injured consumers, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the bankruptcy petition of a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that holds the company’s liabilities for claims brought by thousands of consumers injured by exposure to asbestos-contaminated talc in Johnson & Johnson products. The dismissal, on January 30, 2023, […]READ MORE
Nov 03, 2022
U.S. News & World Report: RPWB is a Top National Law Firm for Mass Torts & Class Actions
CHARLESTON, S.C. — RPWB is incredibly proud to be selected as one of the top national law firms for mass torts and class actions by U.S. News & World Report. RPWB is officially listed as a Tier 1 law firm for such cases, the highest possible designation. In addition to the national selection, RPWB also […]READ MORE
Oct 12, 2022
How Do Camp Lejeune Lawsuits Actually Work?
You’ve no doubt seen the ads on television, but did you ever wonder how Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits actually work? Our team breaks it down for you. RPWB has filed its first administrative claims with the Navy JAG, the first step in the litigation process under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. The JAG is tasked […]READ MORE
Aug 18, 2022
With Sixteen Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers List, RPWB is the Top-Listed Product Liability and Class Action Law Firm in the State
Sixteen RPWB attorneys were selected for the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® list for numerous practice areas including personal injury, product liability, mass tort, class action and medical malpractice litigation. This marks the sixth consecutive year in which RPWB is the top-listed plaintiff law firm in South Carolina for both product liability […]READ MORE
Aug 10, 2022
With a New Law, Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Victims Finally Have Legal Recourse
For more than 30 years, the drinking water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune was contaminated with a cocktail of dangerous toxins linked to cancer, leukemia, Parkinson’s disease and other serious medical conditions. Now after intense lobbying by veteran’s groups and others, victims of Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water have legal recourse for compensation. On Wednesday, […]READ MORE
Aug 03, 2022
Congress Passes Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Law
Over a 34-year period, many thousands of Marines and their families were exposed to dangerous water contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. After a long wait, justice may finally be in sight. Congress approved bi-partisan legislation on Tuesday night that will clear the way for veterans and their families to seek compensation in federal […]READ MORE
Jul 05, 2022
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Law Close to Passing, Would Finally Bring Justice to Veterans and their Families
A bill that is close to becoming law could finally provide justice and financial relief to veterans and their families for health problems caused by water contamination at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The bi-partisan Honoring our PACT Act of 2021 has passed both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. It was sent […]READ MORE
Jun 21, 2022
RPWB Helped Doctors Get Refunds for Non-Conforming Records Software
RPWB attorneys played a leading role in more than 5,000 doctors’ offices receiving refunds for being misled about their electronic medical record software qualifying for Medicare and Medicaid incentives. For years, Greenway Health sold software it claimed was certified under the federal government’s “Meaningful Use” program. That program includes financial incentives designed to reward physicians […]READ MORE
Apr 28, 2022
Federal Court Certifies Fair Labor Standards Act Collective Action Against Las Vegas Restaurant
A federal district court has authorized notice to current and former employees of the Boiling Crab restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada who were employed at any time between March 23, 2018 and October 26, 2020. The notice permits current and former workers to opt-in to the pending litigation alleging that employees were improperly denied compensation […]READ MORE