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January 27, 2017

Engineer sues Amtrak, claims derailed Philly train was 'under attack by projectiles'

The derailment killed eight people and injured more than 200 others

The engineer operating the Amtrak train that derailed in North Philadelphia two years ago, killing eight passengers, is suing the railroad.

Brandon Bostian, 33, alleges he sustained "serious, permanent and painful personal injuries" due to the "negligence and carelessness" of Amtrak on the night of the derailment. He is seeking at least $50,000.

Bostian's attorney, Robert S. Goggin III, filed the lawsuit Wednesday in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia. The suit alleges his train "was under attack by projectiles," including one that caused him to become "disoriented" or "unconscious."

Bostian alleges Amtrak failed to warn him of the "dangerous condition," correct the dangerous conditions and provide a safe working environment, among other claims.

The National Transportation Safety Board did not indicate Amtrak Train No. 188 was hit by any projectile when it issued its conclusions on the derailment last year.

The train derailed late on the night of May 12, 2015 as it passed through the Frankford Junction curve in Port Richmond. The NTSB determined the train was traveling at 106 mph at the time — more than double the posted 50 mph speed limit.

The board ruled that Bostian lost "situational awareness" when he became distracted by radio communications about a nearby SEPTA train that had been struck by an object minutes before Amtrak 188 entered the same area. The board concluded Bostian may have thought he was traveling on the rails after Frankford Junction, a strip of tracks where the speed limit increases to 110 mph.

In addition to the eight fatalities, more than 200 passengers sustained injuries.

Amtrak agreed to a $265 million settlement with the passengers and the surviving family members of the deceased victims in October.

Bostian claims he suffered injuries to his head, back, legs and post-concussion syndrome that may be permanent.

The lawsuit claims he has been "obliged to expend large sums of money for medicines and medical care and attention in and about an effort to effect a cure of his aforesaid injuries" and that he will continue spending "large sums of money" for the same issues.