The household of a pair who have been on a visit celebrating their fiftieth wedding ceremony anniversary after they died in an Amtrak prepare derailment in Montana has filed a wrongful demise lawsuit towards Amtrak and BSNF Railway, which owns the tracks.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court docket in Illinois, says Amtrak and BSNF Railway have been liable for the Sept. 25, 2021, derailment in north-central Montana that killed three individuals, together with Donald and Marjorie Varnadoe, and injured a minimum of 44 passengers and crew members.
The Varnadoes, of St. Simons Island, Georgia, had boarded the Amtrak Empire Builder in Chicago on Sept. 24. They have been within the commentary automobile when the prepare derailed close to Joplin, Montana. The commentary automobile, which has bigger home windows, tipped onto its aspect and slid alongside the tracks earlier than finally coming to a cease, the grievance states.
The couple have been thrown round contained in the automobile and suffered excruciating accidents earlier than their deaths, the grievance states.
The Nationwide Transportation Security Board has not accomplished its investigation of the derailment. However the grievance lists attainable causes starting from monitor and tools failure to human error and says Amtrak and BSNF Railway have been negligent in failing to stop the crash.
Amtrak will reply to the grievance in court docket filings, spokesperson Marc Magliari mentioned. BNSF Railway can’t touch upon pending laws, spokesperson Lena Kent mentioned.
The grievance seeks damages for the deaths of Donald and Marjorie Varnadoe and for his or her ache and struggling. The household can also be in search of damages for lack of earnings, emotional help and companionship together with funeral prices and attorneys charges.
Donald Varnadoe, 74, had a profession in actual property and served on a college board whereas Marjorie Varnadoe, 72, labored in schooling. They have been lively of their neighborhood and their church, the grievance states.
Robert Kozlowski, Donald Varnadoe’s boss at Coldwell Banker Entry Actuality in Brunswick, Georgia, mentioned Varnadoe had referred to as the workplace the day earlier than he died and mentioned they have been having a dream trip.
The Varnadoes are survived by their son, Jason Varnadoe, who’s administrator of their estates, alongside together with his spouse and their son.
“Mother and pop passionately believed in doing good for others. Dad was famously recognized for all the time asking people, ‘How can I assist?’” Jason Varnadoe mentioned in a press release. “We all know they’d need their reminiscence to serve a constructive goal, and our hope is that by this tragedy, classes are realized and America’s rails develop into safer in order that different households are spared our unimaginable ache and struggling.”
The spouse of the third one who died within the derailment, Zach Schneider, 28, of Fairview Heights, Illinois, has additionally filed a wrongful demise lawsuit towards Amtrak and BSNF Railway.
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