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2 conductors file lawsuit in deadly derailment crash

Amtrak NTSB train derail Mendon crash 2.png
Posted at 4:09 PM, Jul 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 14:40:55-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Two train conductors have filed a lawsuit in Monday’s deadly train derailment near Mendon, Missouri.

The defendants are listed as BNSF Railway Company, MS Contracting, LLC, Michael Sattman, MS Contracting’s chief operating officer, and the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, more widely known as Amtrak.

Plaintiffs Brian Marra and Christopher Marzullo were “violently thrown within the derailed Amtrak train and sustained serious injuries,” according to the suit.

The pair states in the suit BNSF was negligent in ignoring previous safety complaints and “owed a duty of responsible care to employees of Amtrak."

Concerns include failure to adequately inspect the crossing, failure to implement crossing safety improvements and failure to adequately warn Amtrak and its crews and passengers about the known safety hazards. In total, 15 examples of neglect are listed.

Billy Barton II, the dump truck driver who was killed in the crash, worked for MS Contracting and Michael Sattman.

Eleven ways in which MS Contracting and Sattman were negligent are listed in the suit including failure to operate the dump truck with reasonable care, failure to yield the right-of-way to an oncoming train, failure to adequately train and supervise the driver (Barton) and violating Missouri statutes.

Against Amtrak, the pair claims their injuries were caused in part due to Amtrak’s failure to provide a reasonably safe place to work and failure to warn plaintiffs of the approaching dangerous conditions of the crossing. Eight acts of neglect are included.

Marra claims to have sustained injuries to his neck, head, back, legs and left arm. Along with physical pain, he mentions emotional distress.

The suit mentions Marra has lost wages and benefits due to the damage, incurring medical expenses while expecting to incur more in the future.

Marzullo is listed in the suit as having sustained injuries to his head, neck, back and torso in addition to experiencing emotional distress.

He too lost wages and benefits along with incurring medical expenses, with reasonable certainty more will come in the future, as a direct result of the neglect.

Marra and Marzullo’s attorney Jerry Schlichter summed up their suit as coming forth because “all of this suffering, and the losses, could have been avoided if the railroads had simply acted upon what the local people were telling them over and over was needed to avoid such a tragedy.”

Thursday, the widow of Barton filed a wrongful death lawsuit naming a BNSF supervisor.

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