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Clifford Law Offices Says Error Had to Play Factor in Amtrak Crash

Clifford Law Offices, an experienced law firm in representing families injured or killed in Amtrak crashes, says that the tragic crash that killed three people and injured dozens more was preventable, according to the experienced rail attorneys at the firm.

Clifford Law Offices has represented passengers in numerous rail crashes and derailments, one of the latest being a number of people injured or killed in the derailment of Amtrak 501 near Seattle, Washington. A settlement of $57 million recently was reached on behalf of the firm’s clients in this 2017 derailment.


The derailment Saturday of another Amtrak train that was headed from Chicago to Seattle when it derailed in Joplin, Montana, was reported to have 157 people on board that included 16 crew members.

“Trains just don’t derail by themselves. Rail companies know they are carrying passengers in cars that weigh thousands of tons and travel at high rates of speed. They carry a duty of care for those in their cars in protecting them from dangers. When eight cars derail killing three people and injuring dozens more, something obviously went very wrong, and in our experience from previous rail crash litigation where dozens of rail experts have examined the issues, it is something that could have been prevented,” said Sean Driscoll, partner at Clifford Law Offices and lead counsel in the 2017 Amtrak derailment in Seattle.

Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner at Clifford Law Offices with more than 40 years of rail litigation experience on behalf of plaintiffs, said the firm immediately deploys a go-to team of experts to preserve the evidence to get to the bottom of what happens when a terrible rail tragedy like this happens because the rail company and its insurers do so on its own behalf.

“We certainly will wait to see what the investigation uncovers, but what we have seen in our prior experience is that most of these derailments are preventable,” Driscoll said. “In our experience in representing families who have lost loved ones in derailments or those who have been injured, we have found that training, infrastructure and maintenance are what need to be particularly examined. The human hand generally is involved when something goes wrong.”

Clifford Law Offices has represented a number of people in numerous rail tragedies around the country. For example, Kevin Durkin, partner at the firm, served as Co-Lead Counsel in the Amtrak crash that killed 11 people and injured hundreds more in Bourbonnais, Illinois. The firm represented Rachel Barton, an internationally acclaimed violinist, who was severely injured when a Metra train ran over her as she departed the train in suburban Chicago. The four-week highly publicized trial resulted in a $29.6 million verdict on her behalf.

 “The safety of passengers cannot be compromised by a major rail company that attempts to avoid responsibility when it should be making safety its top priority,” Driscoll said.

To speak to Sean Driscoll or a member of the transportation liability legal team at Clifford Law Offices, please contact Clifford Law Offices Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker at 847-721-0909 (cell).

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