Brandon Bostian, the engineer involved in a fatal train derailment in Philadelphia, doesn’t want his home address publicly disclosed in a lawsuit against Amtrak.
Bostian, who is gay, filed suit against Amtrak in January, claiming the passenger railroad service failed to ensure a safe work environment for him.
In court papers, Bostian disclosed that he lives in Boston, but he declines to provide additional details. Amtrak officials say Bostian’s complete address must be publicly disclosed for his case to move forward.
The dispute remains pending before Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Arnold L. New.
Bostian’s attorneys acknowledge that local court procedures require public disclosure of a plaintiff’s home address. However, they say an exception should be made for Bostian to ensure his safety.
“Were the court to require Mr. Bostian to disclose his address on a pleading, Mr. Bostian could be subjected to constant harassment, threats and encroachment of his personal solitude,” his attorneys wrote in a March 1 pleading.
Bostian’s attorneys added: “The events that led to Mr. Bostian’s injuries garnered significant press and media coverage and will continue to do so throughout the entirety of this case. Furthermore, Mr. Bostian was subjected to online harassment and social media attacks. He has been threatened by individuals hiding under the anonymity of social media. It is not a stretch that someone would use Mr. Bostian’s personal home address for sinister purposes. For Mr. Bostian’s protection, it is necessary that his address not be made publicly available through a pleading.”
Bostian will publicly disclose his zip code if the court orders it, his attorneys added.
On May 12, 2015, an Amtrak train operated by Bostian derailed on the Frankford Junction curve in Port Richmond, killing eight people and wounding more than 50.
The train was traveling 106 mph as it approached the curve, though the posted speed limit was 50 mph, according to federal investigators.
Bostian’s suit claims his train was “under attack” by projectiles prior to the derailment.
“While operating a train that was under attack by projectiles, one of which caused [Bostian] to become disoriented — and/or unconscious — [Bostian] was caused to sustain injuries due to the negligence and carelessness of [Amtrak],” attorneys maintain in Bostian’s suit.
Federal investigators say Bostian was distracted by radio transmissions about a nearby SEPTA train being hit by a rock.
Bostian suffered “severe, permanent and painful personal injuries” due to the incident, including a traumatic head injury, according to his suit.
Bostian seeks more than $50,000 in damages. A jury trial has been requested.
Neither side had a comment for this story.
“We don’t comment on pending litigation,” said Kimberly Woods, an Amtrak spokesperson.
No criminal charges have been filed against Bostian, but he’s a defendant in numerous civil suits filed in federal court by passengers of the derailed train.
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