WASHINGTON - As part of a deal struck today on a multi-year highway bill, House and Senate negotiators have agreed to increase a cap on the amount of money Amtrak can pay to the victims of the deadly May 12 train derailment in Philadelphia. The provision, sought by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), would replace an outdated accident liability cap, which was set by Congress at $200 million almost two decades ago, to $295 million. Some experts have expressed concern that the current $200 million cap may not be enough for medical and other expenses given the scope of the potential damages in the crash.
Sen. Nelson issued the following statement on the lawmakers' agreement to increase the cap.
“When accidents occur, victims and their families should be adequately compensated and not subject to an outdated liability cap,” said Nelson. “This agreement will go a long way toward helping the victims and their families get the compensation they deserve.”
The broader highway bill that includes the Amtrak cap increase is expected to pass Congress later this week.