PHILADELPHIA (WJZ) — The family of a Maryland man killed in a deadly train derailment says Amtrak is to blame and now they’ve filed a lawsuit. Bob Gildersleeve was one of eight people killed when the commuter train that had passed through Baltimore flew off the tracks near Philadelphia.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the legal action.

The suit is one of two filed Monday against Amtrak from that crash—and attorneys say many more are to come.

For 36 hours, the family of Maryland businessman Bob Gildersleeve frantically searched for him.

“We have no idea where he is or what hospital he is at,” said his son, Mark Gildersleeve.

Gildersleeve was on board Amtrak Train 188 when it derailed last month in Philadelphia, going twice the speed limit. His body was found days later inside the mangled first car.

In a wrongful death lawsuit obtained by WJZ, attorneys say, “…had proper precautions and safety measures been implemented by Amtrak and the train operator, this tragedy would have been prevented and countless innocent lives would not have been devastated.”

Gildersleeve was a vice president of sales at Ecolab in Towson. He was on his way to a business meeting when he was killed.

“They have no opportunity to say goodbye. They have no chance to tell them they love them,” said Maryland attorney Keith Franz.

Franz has filed another lawsuit in the crash here in Maryland for one of the injured.

“There will be lawsuits filed for virtually everyone who was injured in the crash,” he said.

He says a safety system called positive train control that would automatically slow down a train if danger is ahead was installed in that area but was not yet operational.

“There’s no question that this crash would have been avoided,” he said.

Now the fight will play out in court as families continue to mourn.

The engineer of the train says he has no memory of what led up to the crash.

Gildersleeve was a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. A scholarship fund has been set up there in his name. For more information, click here.


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