First Lawsuit Filed Following Amtrak Montana Derailment That Killed Three Passengers Including Software Engineer Zach Schneider

Sep 29, 2021

Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky, PC and co-counsel DiCello Levitt Gutzler filed in Federal court in Mr. Schneider’s home state

CHICAGO, IL (September 28, 2021) – The first lawsuit following the fatal derailment in Montana of Amtrak’s Seattle-bound Empire Builder Train #7/27 was filed today by attorneys from Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky, P.C. on behalf of 28-year-old senior software engineer Zach Schneider, a former national collegiate debate champion, who was traveling to Portland with his wife, Rebecca. She was injured but survived the catastrophe.

SMB attorneys Robert J. Mongeluzzi and Jeffrey P. Goodman, representing Ms. Schneider, filed the federal wrongful death complaint (Schneider v. The National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) and BNSF Railway Company, Case No. 1-21-cv-05121), in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to ensure that the victims’ rights are protected through the investigative process, and that the defendants (Amtrak and BNSF) are held responsible for Saturday’s tragedy.

Mr. Mongeluzzi said following the filing, “Rebecca has asked us to bring this claim to find out what happened, and to ensure no other family suffers the loss of someone as precious and loved as Zach.”

Mr. Goodman added, “Zach and Rebecca, were college sweethearts excited to spend their lives together. As rail passengers, they put their lives in Amtrak’s hands and expected that Amtrak would make sure they arrived at their destination safely. Sadly, what was supposed to be a joyous vacation turned tragic because of the failures of Amtrak and BNSF to fulfill their safety responsibilities.”

SMB is one of America’s leading law firms representing victims of catastrophic injuries and loss of life. Trial attorneys Mongeluzzi and Goodman served within Plaintiffs leadership in litigation following the 2015 fatal Amtrak 188 derailment in Philadelphia, and other Amtrak fatal accidents in Pennsylvania and South Carolina, and also the 2016 New Jersey Transit (NJT) fatal crash in Hoboken, NJ. They have consistently advocated for implementation of advanced railroad safety technology, including Positive Train Control (PTC), which provides for automatic braking and switching systems.

The Complaint can be found here.

Joining Mr. Mongeluzzi and Mr. Goodman in the representation of Ms. Schneider is SMB attorney Samuel B. Dordick, as well as, co-counsel Mark A. DiCello and Adam J. Levitt from Chicago-based DiCello Levitt Gutzler LLC .

NOTE: Respecting the privacy of Rebecca and the Schneider family, counsel respectfully requests that all interview requests be directed to the legal team (contact information is below).


Robert J. Mongeluzzi / / 215-850-6571

Jeffrey P. Goodman / / 215-840-6450

Steph Rosenfeld / / 215-514-4101

Comments are closed.