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May 14, 2015

Lawsuit filed by Amtrak employee injured in derailment

Plaintiff seeks a sum in excess of $150,000

The first lawsuit stemming from Tuesday night's deadly Amtrak derailment has been filed by an employee of the company injured in the crash.

Bala Cynwyd-based law firm Coffey Kaye Myers & Olley is representing Bruce Phillips, a Philadelphia resident, who remains hospitalized at Temple University Hospital, according to NBC 10.

The National Railroad Passenger Corp., Amtrak's formal name, is listed as the defendant in the suit, which claims the accident was caused "solely and exclusively by the negligence of the defendant, its agents, servants, workmen, and/or employees" and was not due to any act or failure to act on the part of the plaintiff. Phillips was "deadweighting" on Train 188, according to the suit, a practice that allows off duty employees to travel on company trains. 

The suit further claims that Phillips sustained traumatic brain injury, multiple contusions and lacerations of the body, multiple orthopedic and neurological injuries, and emotional trauma, for which he seeks a sum in excess of $150,000.

Coffey Kaye Myers & Olley has represented claimants against Amtrak 13 times between 2010 and 2013, according to records from an Amtrak Management Advisory Report on injury claims trend data, via the Office of Inspector General.

In December 2012, the firm filed a federal lawsuit, on behalf of a Paulsboro, New Jersey, resident, seeking $10 million from Conrail, CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway for alleged negligence in connection with the derailment of a train carrying a toxic chemical and bridge collapse that spilled vinyl chloride into Mantua Creek.

View the full lawsuit at NBC 10.