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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Sep 23, 2021
Burke: The Challenges and Responsibility of Representing Veterans
RPWB member Beth Burke led a continuing legal education session on representing veterans and military personnel at the Southern Trial Lawyers Association Annual Fall Conference in Louisville on Sept. 17. The topic was especially important to Burke, who grew up not far from Charleston. Southern states produce 44 percent of our nation’s troops. Charleston is […]READ MORE
Aug 19, 2021
16 RPWB attorneys named to 2022 Best Lawyers list
Mount Pleasant, S.C. – Sixteen RPWB attorneys are listed in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® list for numerous practice areas including personal injury, product liability, mass tort and medical malpractice litigation. RPWB is the top-listed plaintiff firm in South Carolina for mass tort/class actions & product liability litigation. For the first […]READ MORE
Jul 19, 2021
The combination of two drugs showed encouraging results for patients suffering from advanced peritoneal mesothelioma.
The use of a checkpoint inhibitor along with a drug to slow the growth of new blood vessels may delay the progression of peritoneal mesothelioma as well as increase the life expectancy of patients diagnosed with the deadly disease caused by asbestos exposure. A study by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found […]READ MORE
May 03, 2021
Jury Returns $7 million Verdict Against 3M in Military Earplugs Lawsuit
Jurors in the first military earplug lawsuit returned a $7 million verdict that included more than $6 million in punitive damages against 3M for selling the military faulty earplugs. Combat Arms earplugs were widely used in the military between 2003 and 2015. The design of the earplugs made it difficult for service members to get […]READ MORE
Apr 16, 2021
RPWB Attorneys Investigating Paraquat, a Herbicide Linked to Parkinson’s Disease
CHARLESTON, S.C. – RPWB attorneys are investigating the cases of farmers, agricultural workers, crop dusters and groundskeepers who developed Parkinson’s disease after using Paraquat weed killer. Several herbicides contain Paraquat, including: Gramoxone, Ortho-Paraquat, Para-SHOT, Parazone, Quick-Quat, Firestorm and Helmqua. The herbicides have been used in the United States since 1964, and have come under increased […]READ MORE
Mar 17, 2021
RPWB Opposes Proposed $2 Billion Roundup Cancer Settlement
AIKEN, S.C. – Rogers, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman joined more than 90 other law firms in opposing a proposed class action settlement for people who have developed cancer as a result of exposure to Roundup Weed Killer. The proposed $2 billion settlement is deeply flawed and would impair cancer victims’ ability to seek appropriate […]READ MORE
Feb 25, 2021
$5.4 Million Settlement Reached in Fatal Charleston DUI
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A case involving a 32-year-old Chicago man who was killed by a drunk driver in Charleston recently resolved for $5.4 million. In January 2019, William Kappel, Jr. (deceased), his wife Laura, and Jacqueline Zink traveled to Charleston to visit their friend Joseph Murray, who had recently moved to the Lowcountry from […]READ MORE
Feb 08, 2021
RPWB Welcomes a New Member
Matt Nickles, who has worked as an associate at our firm since 2014, became a member at the beginning of this year. Nickles focuses on medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, catastrophic personal injury, premises liability, product liability, class actions and other complex litigation. He is experienced in litigating medical malpractice and pharmacy liability cases, including […]READ MORE
Nov 18, 2020
RPWB is a US News 2021 Best Law Firm
CHARLESTON, S.C. – U.S. News & World Report has named Rogers, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman as a 2021 Best Law Firm for its work in personal injury, product liability, mass torts, medical malpractice, securities litigation, healthcare law and railroad law. The announcement by U.S. News followed RPWB’s inclusion on the 2021 Best Lawyers in America […]READ MORE
Sep 09, 2020
The chase of PPP fraud is on
When the federal government raced to release more than $2.2 trillion in coronavirus aid earlier this year, it did so knowing that some of that money would go to fraudulent claims. With the money needed immediately by struggling businesses and workers, the government could not efficiently control fraud on the front end, so it was […]READ MORE
Aug 25, 2020
Top-Listed Firm for Personal Injury, Product Liability and Mass Torts
RPWB is the top-listed plaintiff law firm in South Carolina for personal injury, product liability and mass tort litigation in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. In all, 14 RPWB attorneys were named Best Lawyers in their respective practice areas. Two other RPWB lawyers were named “Ones to Watch,” a designation for […]READ MORE
Mar 02, 2020
How are Mesothelioma Lawsuits Paid Out?
By Ken Wilson Some of the most frequent questions we get about mesothelioma lawsuits concern how they are ultimately paid out to clients and how long it will all take. To address those questions, let me give you a little bit of context about how mesothelioma lawsuits work. When a person is diagnosed with mesothelioma, […]READ MORE
Feb 02, 2020
$1.5 Billion Syngenta Corn Farmer Settlement Finalized
Corn Farmer Settlement Checks Are On The Way This week we received some very good news for corn farmers nationwide who suffered price losses associated with the botched launch of genetically-modified corn seed by Syngenta in 2013. On January 3, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas in Kansas City approved a […]READ MORE
Feb 01, 2020
RPWB is a 2020 U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firm
CHARLESTON, S.C. – U.S. News & World Report has named Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman as a 2020 Best Law Firm for the firm’s work in personal injury, mass torts and class actions, product liability, medical malpractice, securities litigation, healthcare law and railroad law. U.S. News’ announcement came on the heels of the 2020 Best […]READ MORE
Jan 31, 2020
16 RPWB Lawyers Selected For Best Lawyers List
CHARLESTON – RPWB was once again the top-listed plaintiff law firm in South Carolina for product liability cases as well as mass tort and class action lawsuits in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®, which was released in August 2019. In total, 16 RPWB attorneys were designated as 2020 Best Lawyers, including […]READ MORE