LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - One of the Amtrak passengers injured in Sunday's Amtrak-CSX collision has filed a $75,000 lawsuit against CSX.
In documents filed Wednesday, James Daymon filed a personal injury lawsuit against CSX Transportation for the collision that killed two Amtrak employees in Lexington County.
Daymon blames CSX, the owner and operator of the rail lines, for the "improperly padlocked" rail switch which "erroneously directed" the Amtrak train from its southbound path and into a parked CSX freight train, causing the head-on collision.
In all, the lawsuit says "CSX's conduct...constitutes malice."
The lawsuit also says that CSX's lack of positive train control is also to blame for the collision.
"This train wreck comes on the heels of CSX announcing 2017 fourth-quarter profits of $4.14 billion," the suit says. "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."
Daymon and his lawyers with Solomon Law Group are asking for a jury trial to award damages from lost wages, physical pain and suffering, property damage, and gross negligence totaling $75,000.
"CSX does not comment on litigation," CSX official Laura Phelps said in a written statement.
In addition to the deaths of Michael Kempf, 54, of Savannah, GA and Michael Cella, 36, of Orange Park, FL, 116 people were treated from various injuries ranging from scrapes and cuts to broken bones.
The National Transportation Safety Board, who is leading the investigation, has not ruled on their findings but said the rail line is in the "lined and locked" position forced the Amtrak train onto the tracks leading to the collision.
According to Phelps, normal traffic has resumed on the train line.