Amtrak conductor from Kearny sues RR

Among the 200 people injured in the May 12 Amtrak derailment in North Philadelphia was a Kearny man who was the conductor in the first car.

Emilio Fonseca of Dukes St. is being treated at a Philadelphia hospital for multiple broken vertebrae in his back and neck, head and shoulder injuries and trauma, according to his Roseland attorney Bruce Nagel.

Nagel has filed a lawsuit against Amtrak on behalf of Fonseca and his wife Leticia Oliveria, charging the railroad with negligence in failing to install equipment that would have slowed the train as it headed into a curve while traveling at more than 100 mph when it left the tracks in the Port Richmond area.

The legal papers say that the “permanent” injuries Fonseca suffered may “end his railroad career.”

In a press conference, Nagel called his client “a hero,” in that, after the crash, as the lead conductor in the first car on the ill-fated Northeast Corridor Train 188, “he got his way out of the twisted wreckage onto the ground and while sitting in the fields with a broken back and broken shoulders, he managed to continue to warn his passengers about live wires.”

Nagel said he hoped that his lawsuit, along with others filed in New York and Philadelphia, will be “a clarion call” to the federal government to provide the money “necessary to install safety controls that would have prevented this tragic accident.”

Eight people were killed in the wake of the train going off the rails. “Our prayers are with those who did not survive this tragedy,” Nagel said.

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