RPWB attorneys Terry Richardson and 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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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 21, 2020
Terry Richardson Honored with the 2020 War Horse Award
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Feb 02, 2020
$1.5 Billion Syngenta Corn Farmer Settlement Finalized
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Feb 01, 2020
RPWB is a 2020 U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firm
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Jan 31, 2020
16 RPWB Lawyers Selected For Best Lawyers List
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Jan 30, 2020
Asbestos causes mesothelioma, and now scientists know why
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Jan 22, 2020
Study confirms link between cosmetic products and mesothelioma
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Jan 18, 2020
FDA pushes for more testing amid asbestos exposure concern
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Jan 17, 2020
Is diagnosing mesothelioma difficult?
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Jan 15, 2020
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Jan 08, 2020
Asbestos litigation: Johnson & Johnson faces another lawsuit
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Dec 31, 2019
Construction workers learn of asbestos exposure months later
There is a very good reason that asbestos abatement is tightly regulated in South Carolina. When mishandled, asbestos fibers are released into the air. Those airborne fibers are easily inhaled. For those who do not quite understand just how serious this is, it is important to know that asbestos exposure can lead to a number […]READ MORE
Dec 23, 2019
Miners, construction workers at higher risk for mesothelioma
Asbestos has not disappeared from South Carolina. Whether from old buildings and products or in new uses, asbestos can still be found in many — all over and even in the workplace. Almost anyone could be at risk for exposure, but there are some who face an even greater risk than others. Here are some […]READ MORE
Dec 18, 2019
Renovations caused asbestos exposure for residents, workers
Having a safe place to live is important for the health and safety of all South Carolina residents. No one really wants to face ongoing health threats at home. Unseen dangers can be anywhere, though. For some people, a particularly troublesome unseen danger is asbestos exposure, which can cause life-threatening illnesses. The Occupational Safety and […]READ MORE
Dec 11, 2019
You have probably been affected by asbestos exposure
There are many valid concerns about being exposed to the toxic substance known as asbestos. Since asbestos exposure is known to cause mesothelioma and other fatal diseases, most people want to avoid it at all costs. However, many people in South Carolina have been exposed to asbestos on at least one occasion. Limited exposure to […]READ MORE