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Amtrak, BNSF Railway file lawsuit against dump truck owners after train derailment

Lawsuit claims driver, MS Contracting acted negligently
Amtrak NTSB train derail Mendon crash 2.png
Posted at 8:32 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 23:14:39-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Amtrak and BNSF Railway have filed a lawsuit in federal court against the employer of Billy Barton II, the truck driver who died in a deadly train derailment Monday near Mendon, Missouri.

The two rail companies filed the lawsuit Thursday against MS Contracting, which is based in Brookfield, Missouri, in U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of Missouri Northern Division in St. Louis.

Amtrak and BNSF contend that Barton drove the dump truck loaded with rock while making a delivery to a nearby levee project in an "unsafe, careless and reckless" manner on behalf of MS Contracting.

The lawsuit argues that Barton didn't yield to the right of way of the Amtrak Southwest Chief Train 4 and his failure to do so resulted in a collision that caused the train to derail.

It also argues that Barton was negligently operating the truck while using a cellphone, which distracted him.

Three passengers died along with Barton and another 150 had be taken to area hospitals with injuries.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, but contends that both BNSF and Amtrak incurred damages totaling more than $75,000.

Both companies also allege they incurred labor costs, suffered delays and disruptions and will be subject to other economic and financial loss due to the crash.

Barton's widow also filed a lawsuit against the BNSF and Chariton County, where the crash occurred. She sued for wrongful death Wednesday in Chariton County Circuit Court.

The attorney representing MS Contracting told KSHB 41 News they're aware of the lawsuit and aren't commenting at this moment.