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 58-year-old Rachelle Cook, a resident of De Soto, Kansas woman, 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.”
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 in nearby Mendon, Missouri.
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 had just boarded the train in Kansas City with her sister, her mother and her daughter for a trip to Chicago when the crash happened. All four women were seriously injured; Cook and her sister died from their injuries.
Among the charges against BNSF include failure to adequately inspect and maintain the track and the crossing, failure to cut back overgrown vegetation that blocked motorists’ view of oncoming trains and failure to make safety improvements such as adding gates, bells and lights.
Charges against MS Contracting include failure to operate the dump truck with reasonable care, failure to adequately train, test and supervise their driver and failure to yield the right-of-way to an oncoming train.
The lawsuit states Mariano Rodriquez, a BNSF employee at the time of the crash, is accused 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.