JOPLIN, Mont. — The wife of an Illinois man killed in a weekend Amtrak derailment is suing the train company.
Rebecca Schneider accuses Amtrak of negligence and infliction of emotional distress, according to court documents obtained by The Washington Post.
In response to the lawsuit, the train company said, “Amtrak is sorry for Mrs. Schneider’s and the Schneider family’s loss. We are offering assistance to injured passengers and employees and the families of those who have lost loved ones but are otherwise unable to comment on pending litigation.”
The Schneiders were heading to Portland from their home in Fairview Heights, near St. Louis, when the train, traveling just under the speed limit at about 75 mph, went off the track along a gradual curve. Schneider and a Georgia couple traveling cross-country to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary died.
The Washington Post reports Zach Schneider was in the viewing car at the time of the crash. Rebecca Schneider was in the sleeper car and suffered life-altering injuries.
The suit alleges Amtrak’s rails were poorly maintained or defective.
The train derailed before a switch in the line, where one set of tracks turned into two, on a stretch of track that had been inspected just two days before, National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg said.
The westbound Empire Builder was traveling from Chicago to Seattle when it left the tracks Saturday afternoon near Joplin, Montana.
The train, carrying 141 passengers and 16 crew members, had two locomotives and 10 cars, eight of which derailed, with some tipping onto their sides.
The lawsuit is the first in connection with the crash that killed three people.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.