OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Another lawsuit has been filed in connection to the deadly Amtrak train derailment last month in rural north-central Missouri.
The family of Rachelle Cook, who was killed in the June 27 crash in Mendon, Missouri, filed a wrongful death lawsuit Wednesday against “those they say are responsible for her death.” Cook was a resident of De Soto, Kansas.
In the lawsuit, Overland Park law firm Kuckelman Torline Kirkland names MS Contracting LLC, BNSF Railway Co. and Mariano Rodriguez, a BNSF employee, for the wrongful death of Cook and for the injuries to her mother and adult daughter.
On June 27, Billy Barton II was driving a dump truck for MS Contracting, which is based out of Brookfield, Missouri, when he attempted to drive over BNSF tracks near Mendon.
Barton’s wife, Erin Barton, has also filed a lawsuit against Rodriquez.
An Amtrak passenger train going just under 90 mph struck Barton’s truck.
The lawsuit alleges that BNSF, Amtrak and MS Contracting are responsible for causing the collision that killed four people, including Cook, and sent over 100 to area hospitals.
Cook, 58, had just boarded the train in Kansas City with her sister, mother and daughter for a trip to Chicago when the crash happened. All four women were seriously injured; Cook and her sister died from their injuries.
The allegations against BNSF include failing to adequately inspect and maintain the track and the crossing, failing to cut back overgrown vegetation that blocked motorists’ view of oncoming trains, and failing to make safety improvements such as adding gates, bells and lights.
MS Contracting is accused of failing to operate the dump truck with reasonable care, failing to adequately train, test and supervise their driver, and failure to yield the right-of-way to an oncoming train.
The lawsuit accuses Mariano Rodriquez, a BNSF employee at the time of the crash, of carelessness and negligence, which led to the deadly crash.
The family’s attorney said the family is not making any comment at this time because they are grieving.
According to the lawsuit, the family is demanding a trial by jury.
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