Injured Amtrak Conductor Impetus Behind Worker-Safety Measure

Bob Roberts
May 16, 2018 - 4:55 pm
Michael Case

picture provided to WBBM Newsradio


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A year has passed since a man with a gun critically wounded an Amtrak conductor as he stood on a platform in Naperville.

U.S. Sen.Tammy Duckworth marked the anniversary by introducing legislation that would make attacks on Amtrak and commuter train crews subject to the same federal penalties as airline crews.

Currently, a patchwork of local laws and ordinances apply.        

"This will help ensure that anyone who assaults or interferes with travel, whether by rail or by air, will help better protect rail crew members and improve public safety," Duckworth, D-Illinois, said in a statement.     

She is co-sponsoring the bill with Sen. John Hoeven (R-N. Dak.)       

The measure is prompted by the attack on Amtrak conductor Michael Case, who was critically wounded by a passenger aboard the eastbound California Zephyr as Case stood on the platform to assist riders on and off the train.     

Case has since undergone a series of operations. He spent 10 weeks in the hospital, but union state director Robert Guy said Case's recovery continues and his ability to return to his Amtrak job is uncertain.      

Guy said the legislation is something rail unions and the railroads heartily endorse.

"It only makes sense to provide the same federal protections that aviation employees enjoy," he said.