TACOMA, Wash. - A federal jury in Tacoma has awarded $8 million in damages to a woman injured in the 2017 Amtrak derailment in DuPont.
On December 18, 2017, an Amtrak Cascades train derailed over an Interstate-5 bridge in DuPont during its inaugural trip on a new route between Tacoma and Olympia. Three people were killed and dozens were injured.
Emily Torjusen was awarded $2.5 million for "past non-economic damages" and $5.5 million for "future non-economic damages," according to court documents.
According to The Seattle Times, Torjusen was traveling south from Seattle to Vancouver to spend the Christmas holidays with her family. She was a passenger in the seventh car behind the engine when the train derailed at high speed.
"Torjusen, who was a sophomore at the University of Washington, suffered a fractured collarbone and "major emotional and cognitive consequences," but regained the use of her legs. She has since graduated, but continues to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and post-concussion syndrome," The Seattle Times reported.
In total, Amtrak has paid over $45 million for various suits connected to the derailment.
In November of 2021, Amtrak announced that services would resume on the Point Defiance Bypass-- nearly four years after the derailment.
A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report said multiple agencies are at fault for the deadly derailment. NTSB said the engineer didn't slow down in time before reaching the curve at the Point Defiance Bypass. He came in going 78 miles per hour; the speed limit was 30.
However, the NTSB isn't blaming him. It blamed all of the agencies that put him on that track and in an unfamiliar locomotive on that day.
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