New Bill Would Raise Amtrak's Liability Cap for Philadelphia Train Derailment

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida introduced a bill to Congress yesterday that would raise Amtrak’s cap on liabilities for the tragic train derailment that left eight people dead and over 200 more injured last week.

Under current law, Amtrak is limited to $200 million in liability for any single accident or incident. That liability cap has been in place since the passage of the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act of 1997.

Amtrak officials have publicly stated that they intend to cover the costs of the accident, but experts do not believe the $200 million cap would be sufficient.

Senator Nelson argued that the bill to raise the liability cap is needed because the previous cap is based on dollar values that are two decades old. If the bill is passed, it will amend the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act of 1997 and introduce the higher liability cap for all passenger rail accidents which occur on or after May 12, 2015.

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