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Pedestrian Deaths Halt Florida’s High-Speed Train Project


While designed with the goal of providing efficient, public transportation to the state of Florida, unfortunately, Florida’s new express passenger railway—Brightline—has instead led to significant injuries and deaths, just in its opening week. On opening day alone, one pedestrian was struck and killed at a road crossing by the train, and over the next seven days, two more would be struck, one of them dying as a result.

The project was originally backed and pushed by Florida East Coast Industries and its subsidiary “All About Florida,” emphasizing the environmental benefits of providing low-emission diesel electric-trains to passengers in Florida. However, serious accidents and environmental concerns—just in its opening week—could permanently halt the project.

Florida Brightline Concerns

Some have alleged that the Brightline project is fraught with environmental problems; specifically, the ammonia, chlorine, and liquefied natural gas carried by the freight trains allegedly pose significant environmental and public health threats.

In addition, with 32 passenger trains traveling at 110 miles per hour, weaving in and out of additional, slower moving freight trains, there are serious concerns that trains could crash into other trains, as well as lead to additional vehicular and pedestrian accidents. Several U.S. congressmen have now called for work on the train to shut down altogether and a federal investigation to be conducted.

Litigation against Brightline

In addition, several counties have already sued Brightline, alleging that the project must be halted due to the damage it will do to neighborhoods along Florida’s Treasure Coast and environmental resources in general.

Although there is no word yet that the pedestrian victims’ families plan to bring personal injury claims against the project and the associated companies, it is fair to say that, given the number of accidents thus far, the safety of the project must be thoroughly reviewed and analyzed. The company should also pay any and all costs associated with the accidents, including medical and other expenses the victims faced.

Although Brightline is 100 percent funded by private companies, it is also possible that any agencies associated with approving the project could also be joined on the lawsuit, particularly if they were negligent in overseeing any aspect of the plans that applied to safety precautions to pedestrians, as well as any individuals involved in the accidents who made egregious mistakes outside of their employment roles. 

Florida Train Accident Lawyers

With two deaths and one serious injury just within the first week of opening, it is clear that the Brightline project is fraught with problems. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a Florida train accident—including any involving Brightline—speak with one of our personal injury/wrongful death attorneys at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan right away. We can help you start to recover from the accidents and its impacts.

For more information and in depth analysis, please contact Attorney Ken Ronan at and Case Manager Richard Bagdasarian at


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