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Queens parents to sue Amtrak over son’s death

By Gabriel Rom

The Queens parents of Justin Zemser, a Naval Academy midshipman killed in May’s Amtrak derailment, are suing the railway company over his death for an unspecified amount. The family pledges to donate any payout to a commemorative scholarship in Zemser’s name.

Zesmer’s parents, Susan and Howard Zemser of the Rockaways, filed their suit in Pennsylvania federal court Tuesday, seeking unspecified damages.

The railroad’s legal liability is capped at a total of $200 million for all of the victims.

Zemser was in the middle of the third car of Amtrak Regional Train 188 as it headed north out of Philadelphia May 12 when it sped around a sharp curve and derailed. Zemser, who was 20, was killed at the scene. The crash killed seven others and injured more than 200.

A railroad service spokesman said, “It is Amtrak policy not to comment on pending litigation.”

Reach reporter Gabriel Rom by e-mail at grom@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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