In documents filed Wednesday, James Daymon filed a personal injury lawsuit in Lexington County for the collision. It alleges the crash was caused ty "gross negligence" and "reckless disregard" of train safety standards by CSX. The system, which pinpoints the locations of all trains and positions of switches in a certain area, can recognize problems before they turn deadly. More than 100 passengers were injured. But when it became clear that few if any railroads would meet the deadline, Congress extended it another three years to December 31, 2018, with the option to grant railroads that show progress an additional two years to December 31, 2020.
The two fatalities in the crash were Michael Kempf of Savannah, GA., and Michael Cella of Orange Park, FL. Kempf was the engineer of the train, and Cella was the conductor.
CSX's recent quarterly profits were $4.14 billion, according to the State. It is "totally unjustifiable for CSX to take annual profits in the billions of dollars and simultaneously refuse to fund Positive Train Control to protect the lives of people who ride on its tracks", the suit says.
Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board have said that, after offloading cargo at a nearby yard, the empty CSX train was moved to a side track with a train switch locked in place.
Traveling and transporting freight by train ought to be a reasonably safe thing. Sumwalt also said that the signaling system on the track was inoperable. "Train operations were being manually directed by CSX through telephone communications", according to the lawsuit.
The widow of the conductor killed in collision between an Amtrak train and a CSX freight train earlier this week is suing both railroads for negligence.
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A decade ago, Congress passed a law requiring railroads to adopt the technology on all tracks that carry passenger trains.
In all, the lawsuit says "CSX's conduct.constitutes malice".
"CSX has a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid injuring or killing members of the public", the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit was filed by attorney Carl Solomon of Columbia and Bob Pottroff of Kansas, a nationally known railroad safety lawyer.
Two people were killed and 116 more were injured when an Amtrak train collided with a parked freight train in SC early Sunday morning.