The mother of star Minnesota Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs filed suit against an over-aggressive Amtrak rider accused of slamming her against a train wall while hurtling recklessly toward his seat.
Amtrak veteran Stephanie Diggs was working as the lead service attendant when most passengers waited to board the Penn Station train — but not the impatient David Gauld, so eager to grab a seat in the first-class car that he barreled right into her on Oct. 10, 2018, according to a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed Friday.
After Diggs politely asked him to go around her, Gauld “violently shoved Ms. Diggs into the kitchen wall of the train,” the lawsuit alleged. “Gauld pushed Ms. Diggs into the wall with such force and hostility that it was all but certain she ... would suffer injury. He slammed her head and neck against the train so he could get to his seat ahead of others.”
Police were called to the scene after the ugly morning mishap and Amtrak was notified. While 31-year Amtrak veteran Diggs was in immediate pain, Gauld appeared unruffled in the aftermath of the violent collision, according to the lawsuit.
“Defendant seemed unmoved by his frightening aggression,” the lawsuit alleged. “He even unscrupulously lied to the police officer as well, suggesting it was he who was pushed.”
While Gauld was merely forced to take a different train, Diggs’ life was turned upside down, according to the lawsuit.
“Following the attack, Ms. Diggs’s head and neck ached considerably; she was experiencing severe pain,” the lawsuit charged. “(She) was thus compelled to seek treatment for her injuries. In addition, she now suffers from recurring, debilitating headaches; extreme light sensitivity; and alarming bouts of dizziness stemming from these injuries.”
In addition, the victim is struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, according to the eight-page court filing. Worst of all, the longtime Amtrak worker now finds herself uncomfortable when trying to resume the career that she loved so deeply, her attorney alleges.
“I’m not going to make any comment,” said Gauld when reached by phone Friday.
Her son Stefon Diggs made the miracle 61-yard catch and run on a pass from quarterback Case Keenum as time ran out in the Vikings’ stunning 29-24 victory over the Saints in a Jan. 18, 2018, NFC playoff game. The University of Maryland grad, a fifth-round draft choice in 2015, is currently in his fifth year with Minnesota.
Stephanie Diggs accused Gauld in court papers of assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and seeks unspecified compensation from the Manhattan man. An Amtrak spokesman was looking into the incident, but had no immediate comment.