At approximately 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 18, 2017 an Amtrak train derailed. Stock image

At approximately 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 18, 2017 an Amtrak train derailed. Stock image

Bellevue conductor injured in fatal derailment sues Amtrak, others

Conductor was riding in lead locomotive when trained flew off track onto I-5.

A Bellevue man is suing Amtrak, among other entities, for the injuries he sustained in the train derailment that killed at least three and injured more than 80 last month.

Garrick Freeman was a conductor in training when the derailment occurred in DuPont, Washington, according to a lawsuit filed in Pierce County Superior Court on Wednesday.

At approximately 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 18, 2017, Freeman was riding in the lead locomotive of Amtrak Cascades train 501 “for the sole purpose of training/familiarization as a conductor” for the route, documents state. He was sitting on the fireman’s side of the locomotive when the train “derailed and hurtled to a stop on Interstate 5.”

Filed by lawyers Joseph Grube and Karen K Orehoski of Breneman Grube Orehoski, PLLC and John Coletti of Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC, the suit alleges the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak and others – not yet named – are responsible for Freeman’s severe, permanent and disabling injuries to his hip and ribs, which caused severe pain, suffering and emotional shock.

To treat his injuries, he received expensive services from doctors and surgeons through x-rays, MRIs, medicine, appliances, surgery, hospitalization and household care.

Freeman alleges the defendants were negligent and is seeking damages for pain, suffering, disability, loss of enjoyment of life, future medical expenses, economic damages, earning capacity and others in an amount to be proven at trial.

Freeman’s attorneys could not be reached for immediate comment.




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