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J
02-16-2006, 01:32 PM
Here are two articles about recent employee injury cases. FELA stands for Federal Employee Liability Act. This act pre-dates normal Workman's Compensation legislation and provides that railroad employees can sue to collect damage awards based on blame. In the first case a conductor who had the misfortune to be on a locomotive involved in a grade crossing accident seeks millions of dollars (see bold text below). This case is interesting for a number of cases.

1) The accident ocurred on Oklahoma but is being tried in St. Clair County, Illinois (Belleville - east of St. Louis). Why? Because that county is one of the most famous counties (such as Norfolk VA area) for sympathetic juries and favorable court proceedings.

2) UP is blamed for inadequate crossing signals. Although local governments are the ones that decide whether a crossbuck, a set a flashers or a full set of gates are needed at a particular crossing I'm sure the jury will be convinced that UP should be dictating public policy.

3) The locomotives were somehow deficient. Well, gee, they meet all federal design standards and are subject to a whole host of daily and quarterly inspections.

In the second case a trainman was tragically struck by a train on an adjacent track. Safety rules state that trains can operate on any track in any direction at any time. While this is tragic and the man experienced injury, I suspect most of us who turn 57 won't be earning several million dollars before our careers are over.


Kansas railroad conductor files FELA suit in St. Clair County, Illinois

An Isabel, Kansas man who works as a conductor for Union Pacific Railroad filed suit in St. Clair County, Illinois for injuries sustained in an Oklahoma train wreck.

Wayne Day claims he suffered a torn left rotator cuff and post traumatic stress disorder, among other things, after the train he was operating en route from Pratt, KS to Dalhart, TX, struck a tractor/trailer and derailed at a crossing in Texas County, Ok.

Day is represented by attorneys Rick D. Holtsclaw and Bradford C. Kendall of DeFeo Holtscla Kenall in Kansas City, MO and Eugene C. Menges of Menges Law Offices in Belleville, IL.

According to the complaint, venue is proper because Union Pacific transacts business and maintains an office in St. Clair County.

Harris Trucking of Dowell, IL and its owner, Danny Harris, also are named as a co-defendants.

The collision took place Feb10, 2004, near the intersection of Interstate 54 and County Road 33.

Day claims Harris was negligent for failing to obey crossing signs and for operating his commercial vehicle in excess of the maximum allowable hours permitted under governmental regulation.

The suit claims the trucking firm is negligent for failing to provide its driver with adequate training in hauling large loads. It also claims that Harris had an unsafe driving record.

The suit does not indicate what Harris was hauling

He is seeking damages for past and future medical expenses, lost income, injuries, permanent diminishment of general health and strength and loss of ability to perform normal household services.

Seeking damages under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), Day claims Union Pacific failed to install adequate signage at the crossing and spend a reasonable amount of funds to address the hazards, even though it knew about the unsafe conditions.

"Defendant Union Pacific failed to issue track bulletins or to otherwise warn plaintiff about the dangerous conditions at the crossing, when defendant knew, or by exercise of reasonable care should have known, that failing to do so was likely to result in injury to plaintiff," according to the complaint.

The complaint also states that Union Pacific was negligent for not equipping the train with adequate safety devices.

"The locomotive was unsafe in that it did not provide adequate protection to its occupants from unnecessary harm to life and limb in the event of a collision at a grade crossing," the complaint states. - Ann Knef, The Madison County Record

*****

Injured railroad worker awarded $4 million

A former railroad worker whose leg and back were broken when he was hit by a slow-moving train in Memphis, Tennessee three years ago was awarded $5 million by a jury last Thursday.

That's $1 million more than he was seeking, but under Tennessee law, a plaintiff cannot get more than what is asked for. The Circuit Court judgment for Thomas David Jordan actually will be $4 million.

Jordan, 57, of Littleville, Alabama, was injured Nov13, 2002, on the tracks of an overpass at Danny Thomas north of E.H. Crump.

He had uncoupled a railroad car from a Norfolk Southern engine and as he stepped out from between the two cars, a BNSF Railway Company train traveling on nearby tracks struck him.

He sustained a broken back, a shattered left leg, amnesia, a brain injury and vision problems. His attorney, Stephen Leffler, argued that Jordan was not given a safe place to work and that Norfolk Southern Railway Co. should not have had him working at that location.

"That track was built in the 1880s and some of the tracks are so close together that if two trains are going side-by-side, they could actually hit each other," said Leffler.

"He's been hobbled really badly. He'll not work for the railroad again and he's been really hung out to dry in terms of his earning capacity. He's a sweet old guy."

After a three-week trial before Judge James Russell, the jury deliberated just a few hours before finding Norfolk Southern 100 percent to blame for Jordan's injuries. The jury returned a defense verdict for BNSF.

Norfolk Southern's lawyer, Everett Gibson, could not be reached for comment.

Leffler said he and co-counsel Christopher Keith of Birmingham, AL, officially raised their damages demand to $4 million from $2 million halfway through the trial, but asked the jurors for $3.5 million.

He said lawyers try to request an amount that jurors will view as being reasonable rather than greedy.

"We took a calculated chance and said $3.5 million," Leffler said. "The jurors said (after trial) that when they got back there, $5 million was the first number that got laid on the table."

Norfolk Southern has 30 days to file a motion for a new trial. If it loses an appeal, the railroad would have to pay an extra 10 percent of the $4 million award. - Lawrence Buser, The Memphis Commercial Appeal

4kV
02-16-2006, 01:39 PM
Like I've always said, trial lawyers of this type are nothing more than bottom feeding extortionists.

busyEMT
02-16-2006, 01:53 PM
The 'New Lottery.'

I guess the UP forced him to continue to work in a locomotive that "was unsafe in that it did not provide adequate protection to its occupants from unnecessary harm to life and limb in the event of a collision at a grade crossing,"

Each lawsuit like this, increases insurance and operating/training costs [for rail and trucking companies alike]. This trickles down to higher shipping rates, thereby, making it more expensive to do business. Ultimately shelf prices will rise. I haven't even gotten to the taxes of federal, state and local for a sundry of related costs.

Maybe he should have included the city if it has a 'whistle ban' as contributing to inadequate crossing protection.

Honestly, who doesn't know of inherent dangers while railroading?

4kV
02-16-2006, 01:55 PM
As long as some A-hole trial lawyer adds to his wealth, that's all that matters. I have always wondered how these people look at themselves in the mirror, knowing full well they contort the truth for monetary gain.

busyEMT
02-16-2006, 02:05 PM
As long as some A-hole trial lawyer adds to his wealth, that's all that matters. I have always wondered how these people look at themselves in the mirror, knowing full well they contort the truth for monetary gain.

Slightly veering off course, being a Minnesota Resident, I was offered a chance in the Microsoft Class Action suit. I declined, but had I joined, a whopping $35 would have come my way. Paltry compared to the 100s of millions the lawyers got for bringing the suit.

cmherndon
02-16-2006, 04:29 PM
Like I've always said, trial lawyers of this type are nothing more than bottom feeding extortionists.

Yes, they're not very well respected among the community.

fuente1
02-17-2006, 03:02 AM
Yes, they're not very well respected among the community.

Lawyers killed the NS Steam Program!

J
02-17-2006, 02:14 PM
I won't keep posting these types of stories day after day, but reading these things can give you a better perspective on why railroads behave the way they do.
Regarding the asbestos story, I'm certainly not in a position to comment on that case but I have heard people express frustration that a chain smoker somehow can find that a particular disease was cased by workplace conditions. Asbestos has been known to be a problem for decades and I suspect corporations didn't sit around as soon as the risk was known.




Fri February 17, 2006 05:56 EST
LIRR sees second rail fatality in two days
BETHPAGE, N.Y. (AP) _ A woman was killed after getting hit by an express train, the second fatality in two days on the Long Island Rail Road.
Virginia Arbaiza, 44, was crossing the tracks at the Bethpage station on Thursday when she was struck by an eastbound train.
Police said Arbaiza was walking inside the crossing gates, which were lowered.
The incident occurred just one day after an LIRR train collided with a car in Syosset, killing a person inside the vehicle.
The victim, 60-year-old Madeline Mintz of West Islip, inadvertently made a wrong turn onto the tracks, Metropolitan Transportation Authority police detective Sgt. Kim Riley told Newsday.
``It was a very tragic accident,'' Riley said.


Thu February 16, 2006 18:34 EST
News briefs from around Texas
CORSICANA, Texas (AP) _ A roll of steel banding lost from a tractor-trailer rig on Interstate 45 hit the last car on a Union Pacific freight train Thursday, derailing the car.
The tractor-trailer lost its load of steel spools after the driver said he veered to avoid a car about 6 a.m. Thursday while northbound on the interstate at Texas 31, Corsicana Fire Chief Donald McMullan said.
The spools fell from the freeway overpass onto the Union Pacific track that adjoined Texas 31, McMullan said. One spool hit and derailed an empty tanker car at the end of the freight train, said Union Pacific spokesman Joe Arbona. The tanker car contained polyglycol residue, he said.
``The tanker car was considered empty, but a tank like that always has residue, and it could be two gallons or 200 gallons,'' he said in a story in Friday's Corsicana Daily Sun.
The rig caught fire. The track, the interstate bridge and signage were damaged. Arbona said the track was bowed out at the point of impact. He said there was no timetable for resumption of traffic on the track.
The truck driver, Claude Edward Slaughter, 41, of Humble, said the driver of a car had been harassing him for about 10 miles and pulled in front of him moments before the accident.
``I guess he didn't think I moved over for him when he got on the freeway,'' Slaughter told the newspaper. ``I tried to get over but I got into that guardrail and I couldn't. I just put my head down.''
Investigating Trooper Jeff Taylor said his report would include Slaughter' accounts, but he said Slaughter would be cited for traveling at an unsafe speed.
Slaughter suffered minor injuries and declined treatment. The accident forced authorities to divert early morning traffic from the interstate onto Business Route 45 through Corsicana, McMullan said.
The interstate was reopened to southbound traffic by midmorning Thursday, but northbound lanes where the disabled truck was located remained closed, McMullan said.


Thu February 16, 2006 12:42 EST
Anniston man dies in car's collision with train
ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) _ An Anniston man died from multiple injuries after he drove his compact car around a crossing arm and was struck by a freight train, which he may not have seen because of another train stopped at the crossing, witnesses and police said.
Kenneth Michael West, 48, was the only person in his car when it was hit about 8:45 a.m. Wednesday at the Fourth Street railroad crossing near the Amtrak station. West was taken to Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at about 2 p.m.
``A southbound train was stopped at the same crossing,'' Lt. Toby Falk said. ``He could have failed to see the second, oncoming train behind it when he drove around the crossing arm.''
Witnesses told police the freight train had been sounding its horn and had begun braking hundreds of feet before the collision.


Thu February 16, 2006 08:59 EST
Commuter train strikes and kills trespasser
SHIRLEY, Mass. (AP) _ A commuter train struck and killed a 42-year-old Shirley man, temporarily shutting down the rail line between Fitchburg and Ayer, officials said.
Michael Cavanaugh was struck by an outbound train just after 6 p.m. Wednesday, according to a release from the Shirley Police Department.
There is no station or crossing near the accident, officials said. There were no injuries aboard the train.
Passengers were bused between Fitchburg and Ayer while the accident was investigated, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority said.


February 17, 2006 Friday 4:20 AM GMT
Montana news briefs
LIVINGSTON (AP) A former employee of the BNSF Railway has filed a lawsuit against the company after recent medical tests determined his lungs showed signs of damage from exposure to asbestos.
William Phillips filed the lawsuit on Feb. 9. He said he believes he developed asbestosis as a result of exposure to asbestos and other toxins while working as a locomotive mechanic in BNSF's Livingston yard. He worked for the company for just over 27 years.
Philips said asbestos was used for insulation in the in the roundhouse and back shop and in locomotives.
"It was everywhere," he said. "We could order it right out of the storeroom. They were pretty loose with it," even though the bags were clearly marked as hazardous material, Phillips said.
Phillips said he had a nagging cough for years, but didn't undergo lung tests until some of his co-workers died from mesothelomia, a type of lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
Phillips is represented by Frederic Bremseth, a Minnesota attorney, who said, "BN and the railroads have known for years that asbestos is a killer," yet adequate protections were never put in place to protect employees.
Gus Melonas, a spokesman for BNSF Railway, said the company doesn't comment on pending lawsuits.

J
05-04-2006, 03:21 PM
mispost - see below

J
05-04-2006, 03:21 PM
Here's yet another example:

(excerpt)
As generations of children did before them, on April 20 six years ago, sisters Rebecca and Rachel Marurello and Rebecca's best friend, Zandra Lafley, climbed up the bank onto two sets of railroad tracks and walked onto the aging black trestle that spans the river, past a sign reading "Danger keep off bridge. "

Rebecca, 14, was nearly across the trestle when she heard the whistle and saw the Amtrak train bearng down on them. She shouted a waring to the others and sprinted a few feet, leaping to safety. Rachel, an ll-year-old with cerebral palsy, and Zandra, 13, turned back and tried to run along the unevenly spaced ties where they could see the river beneath them, straining to reach the end of the confining trestle. They leaped onto the adjoining track and then in apparent confusion, crossed back onto the path of the oncoming Amtrak train.

The deaths of the two girls are the basis of a wrongful-death lawsuit against what the victims' famlies call Amtrak's "corporate culture of tolerance." They want to hold the railroad accountable for the accident and force it to set standards to help avoid other train-pedestrian fatalities, especially among children.

* * *
On the day of the accident, railroad dispatch notified engineer Reithmeir that the engineer of a southbound train reported seeing children "playing chicken" on the trestle, court documents say. All train engineers are familiar with the potentially dangerous act, in which people dodge danger by leaping away from a moving train at the last second.

Reithmeir was a half-mile away from the trestle when he slowed the train from 79 to 65 mph after being alerted to the children up ahead, court documents say. As he approached, he saw the girls jump to the east tracks and out of harm, so he released the brake and the train accelerated onto the trestle.

But the girls jumped back onto the west tracks.

* * *
But the plaintiffs believe the railroad should consider the ages of children and do everything possible to avoid an accident. And, if an engineer is alerted before an accident that there are children on the tracks as was the case in the Kent accident he should assume the children's behavior will be unpredictable.

source: http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=train03m&date=20060503&query=Amtrak+BNSF

hoydie17
05-04-2006, 05:09 PM
When you become an employee and realize how little the RR is there to cover your back, you'll be alot less sympathetic to "the big bad railroad"

I say sue the pants off of them.

Sean

4kV
05-04-2006, 05:56 PM
"The deaths of the two girls are the basis of a wrongful-death lawsuit against what the victims' famlies call Amtrak's "corporate culture of tolerance." They want to hold the railroad accountable for the accident and force it to set standards to help avoid other train-pedestrian fatalities, especially among children."

To me, this is a great example of the mentality of our society. The fact that the family wants to hold Amtrak responsible falls right into the way our society arrogantly places the blame on those who were not at fault, shifting the responsibility from themselves. Lawyers, of course, can justify actions like this by removing the common sense aspects, the ethical aspect, and the realistic aspect and spin their web of BS.

In this case, exactly what was Amtrak supposed to do? I have an idea. How about if the kids never went on that bridge in the first place, nothing would have happened. This is somehow Amtrak's fault. Look, it doesn't matter if they post an armed guard with an attack dog at the edge of every linear foot of railroad track in this country, they'll still be sued for not doing enough. It's a no win situation. I'm not here to stick up for Amtrak, but rather I am simply disgusted, and have been for a long time, at the way people take no responsibility for their actions, blame someone else, and watch as lawyers laugh all the way to the bank by perverting truth and common sense. Such mentality is so engrained in our culture that I doubt it will ever change.

Ween
05-04-2006, 06:17 PM
if they post an armed guard with an attack dog at the edge of every linear foot of railroad track in this country

Then people would sue for having their civil liberties infringed upon.

But look at it this way: would a tractor trailer truck company be sued if these stupid girls jumped out in the road in front of one of their trucks and got run over? I mean, there's not even a 'No Trespassing' sign next to the road! The commen sense answer to this is no, but then again, common sense is not found in the courtroom. Damn lawyers. And damn stupid kids and their families...

fuente1
05-04-2006, 08:39 PM
Funny how the kids were breaking the law (trespassing), got hurt, and sue. Too bad we no longer have any real judges in this country. This sue happy environment is one of the reasons we no longer have excursion trains on the east coast, the fear of being sued dropped the fires.

J
05-04-2006, 08:49 PM
When you become an employee and realize how little the RR is there to cover your back, you'll be alot less sympathetic to "the big bad railroad"
I say sue the pants off of them.
Sean
Nice but irrelevant. You'll note the engineer has been pulled into part of the litigation. Perhaps you could enlighten us on your perspective.

jaanfo
05-05-2006, 09:57 AM
Hoydie: I walk through and around trains all the time. Even when I'm wearing a radio (Don't hear anyone calling the signal) and have a schedule (nobody supposed to be coming) I still take the time to make sure any live tracks are empty before I cross them, I never automatically assume they are empty. You as an employee are committed to the safety of yourself and others around you, which means that you have to be vigilant enough of what might happen and be prepared to take any action, whether it be slamming on the e-brakes when you see a trespasser, or waiting five minutes for a freight train to pass before you walk around.

That said, faulty or ill-maintained equipment is corporate's problem. So if indeed the employee can prove that somehow the locomotive was poorly maintained, or it was defective (and corporate knew that), resulting in his injuries, then I agree. Sue the pants off them. While I think 4 million is excessive, in that case the employee needs to be paid for the rest of his career, and any other function which he lost needs to be repaid. The Asbestos case I fully agree with.

The Amtrak case: WTF? If there isn't a law saying that tresspassers and their families can't sue for injuries sustained while trespassing there SHOULD be. The tracks are owned by the railroad, there are signs posted saying "Stay off" and "Danger". My opinion is that once someone chooses to ignore those signs and walk along or across the ballast they are breaking the law, then anything that happens - any injury sustained (Even sand in the eyes from a passing train) is only accountable to the tresspasser. Same goes for Grade Crossings. Once the gates go down they are a warning sign telling you to keep out, if you drive around or walk past the gates you are doing so at your own risk. If the gates are up and a train comes through I'd say you can sue. Exception is a crossing with nothing but crossbucks: You're crossing at your own discretion, the crossbuck is your warning and you may choose to heed it by watching and waiting for your train, or ignore it by flying across the tracks.

going back to the Amtrak case, I actually will support the family in that the engineer should have maintained braking and slow running until he was clear of the children. I'll reiterate that the safe operation of the train is the crew's responsibility, and that includes the safety of the idiots trespassing, therefore if the engineer had the opportunity to stop the train before reaching the children he should have taken it, no matter which track they were on. It's kinda like defensive driving... you see the ball bounce in the street so you stop until you know the child is safe. I don't think the family should get a reward because of that though... but the engineer should get some sort of reprimand (remember, this is all in my opinion) for not following safety precautions.

And what's this "Society of Tolerance" crud about???

bigiron
05-06-2006, 03:37 PM
"but then again, common sense is not found in the courtroom. Damn lawyers. And damn stupid kids and their families..."
_______________

Ween, you can add common sense is a trait many people fail to grasp today period and yet cases like the above protect them from their own stupity at times (if they live to witness it) 8-) .

Just wanted to add a couple of thoughts on this thread showing how our judicial system works in wacky ways at times even though it's not RR related but shows more of what was mentioned of NO "common sense" .

I live near a rather prominent college and a few years back several drunk students vandalized some local property and in their haste to get away ran through another neighbors yard with one student tripping over their stone wall breaking his leg. Guess what....the owner of the stone wall had to pay nearly 6 figures to the student who broke their leg!

It's so crazy that if I caught someone stealing on our farm but they tripped in a ground hog hole getting away, I might get laughed in the face by a judge for bringing someone to court for stealing my former livelihood and then get sued in return for having unsafe fields even if no obvious hazards are there too. One major reason why we stopped pick your own a LONG time ago.

"The Amtrak case: WTF? If there isn't a law saying that tresspassers and their families can't sue for injuries sustained while trespassing there SHOULD be. The tracks are owned by the railroad, there are signs posted saying "Stay off" and "Danger". My opinion is that once someone chooses to ignore those signs and walk along or across the ballast they are breaking the law, then anything that happens - any injury sustained (Even sand in the eyes from a passing train) is only accountable to the tresspasser. Same goes for Grade Crossings."

It's definitely erroding the way business is done but until the judicial system is revamped to not allow for unrealistic settlements or verdicts this will continue to go on and we all know it will not stop.

What's next.....Could have a scenario where a fellon is fleeing and runs over some tracks and trips on one of them and then gets hit by a train and somehow wins a case due to "high tripping objects" or train not able to stop in a 200' span, IMO. Talking with someone last week, even many law enforcement people don't realize how much weight is carried on trains and the stopping distance that is needed for modern trains and if they put on the initial report the RR's being naive to the nature of RR industry making it even harder to prove someone else at fault.

They can call us foamers/phoamers if they want, we seem to have a bit more common sense then the norm here.. :-) .

Some PD's are happy we're around as we support them with a few speeding tickets now and then and they do know some hotspots of ours too, lol.

happy safe chasing, RC

dayres101
05-08-2006, 11:00 AM
This sounds like material for comedian Bill Engvall's "Here's Your Sign" routine. In agreement with the comments of the others in this thread, what the heck has happened to this country? Every safety video for every place I have worked states that you are responsible for your own safety as well as your coworkers (by watching for out for them). I have several years experience driving a forklift working in warehouses, as a dockman, material handler etc. The funny thing is though that the close calls I have had with people not watching out for us forklift drivers (though I was watching for them) was dummies from the front office who make up the stupid safety rules in the first place.

The first thing I say is kill all the lawyers! That would be a good start and there are way more than what is needed anyway. Note that I am just voicing my frustrations, not being literal (sort of) :-D Does anyone remember the dumb broad who sued McDonald's for getting burned when she spilled coffee on herself? HELLO!!! It's supposed to be hot you freaking idiot!!! Next thing we'll be responsible for telling places what temp we want our coffee.

While I know we enjoy many freedoms in this country which we all enjoy, it seems like this country is getting more and more pathetic all the time. Everybody wants to blame someone else instead of looking in the mirror.

Slopes09
05-09-2006, 01:59 AM
Does anyone remember the dumb broad who sued McDonald's for getting burned when she spilled coffee on herself? HELLO!!! It's supposed to be hot you freaking idiot!!! Next thing we'll be responsible for telling places what temp we want our coffee.

Of course we do, she was the one the Stella award was named after.http://www.stellaawards.com/stella.html

busyEMT
05-09-2006, 08:15 PM
The 9th Circuit is the most overturned in the country.

Apparently the Talgo set can stop on a dime, an example of the "corporate culture of tolerance." Because parents raised thier kids to think it is okay to disobey signs, "They want to hold the railroad accountable for the accident and force it to set standards to help avoid other train-pedestrian fatalities, especially among children."

I see a FRA rule regarding trestles, narrow rights-of-way, etc: 5 mph speeds will be observed while encountering hazardous and dangerous sections of track to allow for sudden and immediate braking of trains.

But then, folks wanted over a thousand miles worth of chain link fence to prevent bear deaths in Northern Montana!

And the way the article was written, ugh! You get the impression that Amtrak asked BNSF to "unevenly" space ties.

And how can you not lock up the engineer with two career kills who hides behind "The state has no guidelines for engineers to prevent hitting pedestrians. Amtrak requires only that an engineer sound a warning signal if someone is on the tracks. The assumption is that anyone who hears the signal will get out of the way, according to the railroad."

The evil railroads ruthlessly run down anyone on the tracks under their "culture of tolerance.""generally take the position that people who walk onto tracks, which are private property, put themselves in harm's way by trespassing, thus negating the railroads' liability. It's a position that has been supported by state and federal transportation agencies."

Frederick
05-09-2006, 11:24 PM
There is tremendous momentum behind the train... it's not like they could stop in 15 seconds, as the article from the Seattle Times seems to suggest.

cmherndon
05-10-2006, 02:29 AM
Because parents raised thier kids to think it is okay to disobey signs, "They want to hold the railroad accountable for the accident and force it to set standards to help avoid other train-pedestrian fatalities, especially among children."

This is why there are so many frivilous lawsuits in this country. The general public doesn't want to take responsibility for their actions, so they'll pass the buck in this situation. Thank you Mrs. Liebeck!

And the way the article was written, ugh! You get the impression that Amtrak asked BNSF to "unevenly" space ties...

The liberal media at its best (worst?). It's on the left coast, so it doesn't really surprise me. :roll:

"The state has no guidelines for engineers to prevent hitting pedestrians. Amtrak requires only that an engineer sound a warning signal if someone is on the tracks. The assumption is that anyone who hears the signal will get out of the way, according to the railroad.

General misinformed public. That's all it is. The problem with the misinformed public is that the liberal media (in this case, The Seattle Times) likes to feed off them, and in turn manipulate them. I've seen this happen on more than one occasion, and it's not biased...just an observation.

generally take the position that people who walk onto tracks, which are private property, put themselves in harm's way by trespassing, thus negating the railroads' liability.

There were "No Trespassing" signs on the bridge, which negates liability even further. Just because someone happens to conveniently ignore them is a moot point. They were in place, someone ignored them, and then paid the price while doing something stupid. If you play chicken with a train, the train always wins.

fuente1
05-10-2006, 02:34 AM
BS like this, and the fear of BS like this, are the reason we cannot run/ride excursion trains anywhere in the Southeast on ANY mainline railroad. Lawsuits have ruined everything from coffee to excursions.