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Amtrak settlements silencing crash victims

Amtrak has started settling lawsuits with victims of last year’s deadly derailment in Philadelphia, and lawyers involved in the process say a strict confidentiality provision prevents them and their clients from talking about how they’re doing or how much money they’ve received.

The railroad reached the first settlements last week, quietly resolving cases brought by two women who suffered head and other injuries in the May 2015 wreck, court records show.

Dozens of other lawsuits are still pending.

Eight people were killed and more than 200 people were hurt when the Washington-to-New York train sped into a sharp curve and tumbled from the tracks.

Federal investigators say the engineer was distracted by word that a nearby train had been hit by a rock and lost track of where he was. They say he accelerated full-throttle to 106 mph instead of slowing down for the curve’s 50 mph speed limit.

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