While rescuers were still searching for survivors after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia, Fox & Friends interrupted their breaking news to ask two lawyers about the financial benefits of suing the government.
The New York-bound trained derailed at around 9 p.m. on Tuesday, killing at least six people. By early Wednesday morning, crews were still searching through the wreckage, and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (D) said that officials had not yet been able to account for all of the passengers.
However, Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck took time out of coverage of the emergency to wonder about the “legal implications.”
“Amtrak is owned by the government,” she pointed out. “How does that complicate things in terms of what the passengers’ rights to claims are?”
Defense attorney Whitney Boan suggested that passengers and families of the deceased could seek damages from the government, train parts manufacturers, and Amtrak employees.
“The legal implications will become more clear as we find out more about what happened,” she observed.
“What specific claims could passengers be putting forward here?” Hasselbeck asked. “In particularly, the families of the deceased.”
Attorney Eric Guster suggested that families should consider suing for wrongful death and possibly for faulty equipment.
“We just don’t know yet,” Guster noted. “That’s why, the NTSB, they’re starting investigating it. And those types of reports will go to show exactly what happened in this crash.”
“There is liability somewhere because trains are not supposed to derail,” he added. “But the question is who. Who is to blame?”
Hasselbeck concluded by asking if trains should have seatbelts.
Guster said that she didn’t know, but “as a human being” she thought the government should put seatbelts on their trains.
“I don’t see how seatbelts could be such an extreme expense for Amtrak or for the federal government so we don’t have to worry about these things happening when situations and tragedies like this occur,” she remarked.
“On our website is the 800 number if anybody is still looking for their family members there,” Hasselbeck reminded viewers as the segment concluded.
Watch the video below from Fox News’ Fox & Friends, broadcast May 13, 2015.