Photo Credit: Mark Levisay
Update: Two more employees, Curtis Harris and David Jackson, also filed their own suits alleging similar incidents and injuries, bringing the total number of lawsuits to four.
The four workers sued alleging they were severely injured by faulty tack equipment operated by fellow Amtrak employees.
Both suffered back injuries, with one man breaking his spine. Both incidents allegedly occurred near Union Station in Washington DC.
Patrick Robinson and David Crouch each filed lawsuits in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania last week against the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, also known as Amtrak.
In the complaint they say that while working on the track they were stuck by a ballast regulator after it suffered a mechanical error, failed to stop in time and collided with another piece of track equipment nearby.
“With a set of movable blades and sometimes rotating ‘broom’ attachments, ballast regulators shape and distribute the gravel support for railroad track. Also sometimes called ballast plows, these machines not only shape the shoulder of the track support but are also capable of evenly distributing newly applied ballast by moving it from the shoulders to between the rails, or from between the rails to the shoulders. Ballast regulators are used for both newly laid track and for renewal of the ballast on existing track,” according to Ernest Robl’s website.
Amtrak is held to special standards by the Federal Employers’ Liability Act of 1939 which regulates workplaces owned and operated by the Federal government.
Both men say they have been required to spend large sums of money on their medical expenses, according to the complaint. They were also not paid between the date of the incident and the date company mandated drug tests were completed, as well as had their rail passes revoked.
Robinson and Crouch are represented by attorney Voci R. Bennet of Keller & Goggin P.C.
Representatives from Amtrak’s Wilmington Media Relations department did not return a message requesting comment.