PHILADELPHIA, June 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Closely monitoring this week's fatal Amtrak catastrophes in two states, national railroad disaster lawyers from Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky PC are urging swift action to dramatically improve safety – and save lives - at about 130,000 "passive" rail grade crossings. At least seven deaths combined have resulted from the starkly similar incidents in California and Missouri; Amtrak trains struck vehicles at controversial crossings that had no protective equipment, such as automatic warning signals and gates, to alert motorists of an oncoming train.
"How many more people have to die before this dangerous condition –jeopardizing Amtrak passengers, crews, and motorists across America - is corrected?", asked attorneys-safety advocates Robert J. Mongeluzzi and Jeffrey P. Goodman of SMB.
Mr. Mongeluzzi said, "Investigations are tedious and will take a long time, but we already know from officials, including NTSB, that the Missouri rail crossing had been a source of serious safety concerns, and was identified for a safety overhaul. How do you explain the delay to the four families of those who died?"
Mr. Goodman added, "The NTSB has been advocating to government and industry for replacement of dangerous passive railroad crossings for more than two decades, and these latest fatal incidents underscore the need for immediate action," Mongeluzzi said. "Failure to act is a national disgrace."
Trial attorneys Mongeluzzi and Goodman have been among the lead lawyers in numerous catastrophic derailments including the 2015 derailment of Amtrak Train 188 that killed 8 people; the 2021 derailment of an Amtrak train in Montana that killed 3 people, and other fatal crashes in South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. They have consistently advocated for sweeping rail safety upgrades, including Positive Train Control (PTC), better controlled crossings, and safer railcars, which would improve the survivability of accidents.
In addition to their experience representing victims in train derailments, Mr. Mongeluzzi and Mr. Goodman previously were the lead lawyers for the victims in the sinking of amphibious Stretch Duck Boat 07 in Branson, Missouri in 2018 that killed 17 people.
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SOURCE Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky PC