Sean P. Driscoll and Kristofer S. Riddle, attorneys at Clifford Law Offices, obtained a nearly $17 million verdict on September 13, 2019 following a two-week trial in Tacoma on behalf of two injured people and the spouse of another.
The trial in federal district court involving a speeding Amtrak 501 train represents the first involving the 2017 tragedy outside DuPont, Washington, that left 60 people injured and three people killed. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded in May that the train was traveling at nearly 80 miles per hour around a curve that called for a maximum of 30 miles per hour.
Among the injured plaintiffs were Dale Skyllingstad who the jury awarded $7.75 million and Blaine Wilmotte who received $7 million for their injuries and Madison Wilmotte who received $2 million for the impact on the Wilmotte’s marriage. Skyllingstad suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as a broken pelvis, spinal fracture, cranial fracture and lacerations on his liver and kidney. Blaine Wilmotte was crushed when a derailed train car from an overpass landed on his truck on Interstate 5, trapping him for 90 minutes in excruciating pain. He suffered multiple broken bones, lasting trauma and a diminished capacity to work.
“The Wilmottes and Mr. Skyllingstad got to tell their stories and the jury listened,” said Driscoll, partner at Clifford Law Offices in Chicago, a nationally recognized personal injury firm that represents about two dozen of the victims of this tragedy. “These people’s lives are forever changed due to the negligence of those in charge who simply ignored safety regulations.”
Amtrak admitted liability before trial and the jury heard evidence for two weeks on the damages and impact on the plaintiffs.
“Madison Wilmotte was pregnant at the time her husband was crushed in his truck. She will never forget that fateful call as her husband cried out in unbearable pain and she could do nothing to help him. The jury understood the significance of what severe injuries can have on an entire family,” said Riddle, an attorney at Clifford Law Offices that also represents more than 60 victims of the Boeing 737 Max8 crash in Ethiopia. That case is set for a hearing in Chicago Tuesday.
The Amtrak case was heard before U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle in the Western District in Tacoma, Washington.
Case No.: 2:18-cv-00086-BHS Wilmotte et al v. National Railroad Passenger Corporation
For further information, please contact Clifford Law Offices Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker at 847-721-0909 (cell).