Case Study: The Wreck of Amtrak’s Sunset Limited
In the case of the wreck of Amtrak, that happened On September 22, 1993, at 2:53 A.M., the Sunset Limited, crashed into Big Bayou Canot, taking the lives of 47 passengers along with it (H. Richard Eisenbeis, 1999). Throughout analyzing this case, I found many stakeholders involved in this incident. The number of stakeholders involved, grew within each paragraph within the details of the case. Many safety precautions during this incident had not been taken up to par following this incident, causing the stakeholder list to grow.
Throughout this case the number of stakeholders involved, continuously grows. Beginning with the passengers and crew members aboard the Limited at the time of the crash. Continuing with the Captain, Pilot, and crew members aboard the Mauvilla tug boat. The Mauvilla tug boat was a part of an organization called the Warrior and Gulf Navigation, making them also a stakeholder in this incident. Even though not directly involved with the incident all of Amtrak’s employees become stakeholders. Even the Chesapeake System Railroads became a stakeholder in this case. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was also a stakeholder in this case. The local Emergency responders, The U.S. Coast Guard, and even The Alabama Emergency Response Network were stakeholders in this incident. Every passenger on-board the train also had family, friends, employers, and acquaintances, making them all stakeholders of this occurrence. The 47 passengers whom lost their lives over this accident, were also stakeholders, along with their families, friends, and employers. Each passenger’s employer was affected in some way by this occurrence, making them also stakeholders. The stakeholders in this case are not only limited to the people or companies involve, it also affected the environment around the accident, making all of the wildlife and environment around the accident stakeholders as well. Honestly, to me it felt like every person who had heard about this incident, became a potential stakeholder in this case.
The interest of each stakeholder involved varies on how they were involved and affected by this incident. The companies involved had interest in upholding their public profile, profit, and trying to bring their company up from this incident. The local Emergency responders, The U.S. Coast Guard, and even The Alabama Emergency Response Network interests were to rescue any persons involved at the time of the accident. The passengers and crew member aboard the Limited and The Captain, Pilot, and crew members aboard the Mauvilla tug boat their interests would include their work environment, their jobs, and their lives. The Chesapeake System Railroads interests would include; the destroyed railroad, and the environment around it. Each passenger aboard the train also had family, friends, employers, and acquaintances including the 47 passengers whom lost their lives over this accident their interest would include safety, and justice for their loved ones, I assume they had some wrongful death cases to pursue.
Amtrak has a big social responsibility in this situation. They should not only make a public statement, but I feel that they should apologize to the families personally. I also feel that Amtrak should also review their safety precautions, and improve them immensely. I think that Amtrak should also be responsible for cleaning up the crash site and the environment around it. They also have a social responsibility to reach out to all shareholders involved in this case. All parties involved have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees and customers, and Amtrak should try to correct what happened, to the best of their abilities.
After analyzing the case of the Amtrak accident, I feel that Amtrak should be liable and responsible. I think that they should establish a foundation for all the injured and ones whom lost their lives. I would also recommend that they change their safety precautions as soon as possible, because something obviously did not work. They should also have safety checks more often, and make sure everything is up to par more often. I am hopeful that this incident may have made Amtrak think more about how quickly and out of nowhere an accident could occur, and may help them better prevent other incidents such as this.
Amtrak’s corporate social responsibility to its stakeholders is ensuring safety to all its customers and stakeholders before and after the incident. According to Halbert and Ingulli (2013), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) does not focus solely on serving shareholder interests, CSR claims to serve wider stakeholder interests—including those of employees, customers, local communities, and of the natural environment itself. Before the incident the corporation had a responsibility to follow all safety regulations and follow the proper procedures to ensure that safety. Amtrak had the responsibility to make sure there were precautions in place that worked to prevent this kind of accident.
They also had a responsibility to have procedures in place for different weather conditions like reducing speed when there is dense fog like in this case. After the incident Amtrak had a corporate social responsibility to look all aspects and causes of the incident and make changes to prevent this kind of incident in the future. For example, they should have safe guards on the bridges to alert any boats in the area that there is a bridge present. The corporation that owns the towboat needs to take responsibility for the incident as well and come up with similar procedures that would prevent this sort of incident in the future. For example, the towboat captain should not have been napping while an inexperience person piloted the towboat in the dense fog. Ethically, all the corporations involved should take responsibility for the incident and all the breakdowns in communication, poor decisions, and lack of prevention and lack of action plans before and after the incident.
Helms, D.M. (1992). Family Business.
Halbert, T., & Ingulli, R. (2013). Law & Ethics in the business environment. (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall Publishing
- Richard Eisenbeis, S. H. (1999). The Wreck of Amtrak’s Sunset Limited. University of Southern Colorado