Family of De Soto woman killed in Amtrak derailment files lawsuit

A worker inspects the scene of an Amtrak train which derailed after striking a dump truck,...
A worker inspects the scene of an Amtrak train which derailed after striking a dump truck, Monday, June 27, 2022, near Mendon, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)(Charlie Riedel | AP)
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 4:37 PM CDT
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JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. (KCTV) - The family of a De Soto, Kansas, woman killed in the Amtrak train derailment last month has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Rachelle Cook, 58, was one of four people who died due to the train derailment and subsequent crash. More than 100 were injured.

According to a press release, Cook had just boarded the train in Kansas City with her sister, mother, and daughter as they were on their way to Chicago. All four of them were seriously injured. Cook and her sister died from their injures, however.

The lawsuit, filed by attorneys from an Overland Park law firm on behalf of the family, names the following in the wrongful death lawsuit: MS Contracting LLC, BNSF Railway Co., and a BNSF employee.

The press release then summarizes the lawsuit’s allegations:

  • “BNSF owns, controls, maintains and operates the railroad tracks, crossing, signs and the right of way. The lawsuit accuses BNSF officials of ignoring years of warnings and safety complaints by local residents about the unsafe crossing.
  • [Name omitted] “was a BNSF employee at the time of the accident, responsible for various sections of BNSF’s right of way (the tracks and the area around the tracks). He’s accused of carelessness and negligence, which led to the deadly accident.”
  • “The dump truck driver was working for MS Contracting, LLC at the time of the accident.” MS Contracting, among other things, is accused of not adequately training, testing and supervising their driver. They are also accused of not enacting and enforcing policies and procedures to ensure safe driving.

The family’s attorney said that they do not have additional comments to offer as they are still grieving.

Previous coverage:

Train derailment: Amtrak, BNSF sue company that owned dump truck

Train derailment: GoFundMe for De Soto victims tops $17,000 in just a day

NTSB is looking into intersection where train derailment happened

Four people killed in fatal Amtrak crash identified

NTSB spends Tuesday investigating deadly Amtrak train derailment in Missouri

NTSB investigates train derailment, shares more about crossing in Mendon

Fourth person dies in Amtrak train crash near Mendon, about 150 injured

Passengers help each other climb out of train cars following deadly derailment

Boy Scouts played major rescue role after train derailed

Site of train derailment was on MoDOT’s safety improvement list for 2022

4 killed when Amtrak train derails in Mendon, Missouri

Leavenworth County students on Amtrak train are ‘okay’ following crash