A federal judge has approved a $265 million settlement for the victims of last May's deadly Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia.
The ruling from Judge Legrome D. Davis released Thursday sets up a settlement program where attorneys for each victim and Amtrak will negotiate how much money Amtrak will compensate each of the injured passengers.
There are more than 125 pending cases from the May 12, 2015, disaster. A speeding Northeast Regional train jumped a sharp curve in the city's Port Richmond neighborhood late that night, killing eight people and injuring more than 200.
The train broke apart after leaving the rails at more than 100 mph. Some cars overturned, others sliced through steel electrical structures and one was crushed like a aluminum can. Four of the passengers killed were ejected from the train.
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Federal investigators said the train was traveling at twice the speed limit as it prepared to turn north toward New York City following a stop at 30th Street Station.
Engineer Brandon Bostain lost his bearings after a rock hit the windshield of another train, the National Transportation Safety Board ruled. Bostain told investigators he didn't remember the derailment.
Davis and attorneys leading the litigation — Thomas Kline, Fredrick Eisenberg and Robert Mongeluzzi — said this settlement spares the victims years of court proceedings.
"While no amount of compensation can replace the loss of human life, or heal the injured, it is immensely significant that the legal aspect of an incident of this magnitude will be resolved in a fraction of the time it could have taken," Mongeluzzi said in a statement.