Bachus & Schanker, LLC Client Awarded Confidential Settlement Amount for Wrongful Death Caused by a Railway Accident
Randy was traveling east and he stopped at a railroad crossing at 96th Avenue near Highway 2 in Adams County. Randy was about the tenth car back from the railroad tracks. The gates were down and the flashing warning lights were activated.
At the time Randy was stopped, a southbound train passed through the intersection of 96th Street and stopped on the side of the track. However, the southbound train stopped only a few feet south of 96th Avenue, failing to clear the warning lights and gates and blocking the view of the mainline track for eastbound traffic. The gates malfunctioned and did not raise after the southbound train stopped. As a result, the cars in front of Randy went around the gates believing that it was safe to cross the tracks. Unbeknownst to those motorists and to Randy, the southbound train was stopped because there was another northbound train approaching and the southbound train was pulled over to let the northbound train pass. Also, because the southbound train was stopped so close the intersection, it blocked the eastbound traffic’s view of the approaching northbound train.
As Randy followed the cars in front of him and proceeded to cross the tracks, the northbound train passed through the intersection and collided with Randy’s car. Randy was killed in the collision.
On behalf of Randy’s wife, Bachus & Schanker, LLC filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the operator of the train, and the owner of the train, Burlington Northern. Randy’s wife claimed that the gates and warning lights malfunctioned because the southbound train (also owned by Burlington Northern) violated its own policies and procedures by failing to completely clear the intersection. Had the southbound train cleared the intersection, the gates would have risen and then lowered again as the northbound train approached, thus providing clear warning of a second approaching train. Additionally, Randy’s wife claimed that the operator of the train was negligent in failing to bring the northbound train to stop because he clearly saw that traffic was proceeding around the closed gates.
Prior to going to trial on this matter, the parties attended a mediation and agreed to settle the claim. The amount of the settlement is confidential.