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Philadelphia Business Journal Quotes Professor Beth Haas on Amtrak Damages Cap

Professor Beth Haas

May 18, 2015

A federal law capping rail damages will complicate efforts to recover damages for victims of the Amtrak 188 derailment, Professor Beth Haas said in the Philadelphia Business Journal on May 15.

"By federal law, Amtrak is required to have $200 million in insurance and that’s also the liability limit,” Haas said. “$200 million might sound like a lot of money but not when you are talking about 240 passengers — most of whom were injured. A serious injury case can be worth more than a death case, when you have a serious injury like a broken back or brain damage that requires a lifetime of medical care.”

Haas, a former partner at Blank Rome, handled aviation litigation, product liability defense and toxic torts.

The article also notes that Thomas R. Kline, chair of the law school advisory board and one of the nation’s leading plaintiff’s attorneys, told Bloomberg News that the constitutionality of the damages cap will likely face challenges.