A Missouri jury awarded $17 million to a girl who suffered brain injuries, a torn aorta, kidney damage, and several fractures as the result of a train accident.
The lawsuit focused on a concrete barrier at a BNSF railroad crossing. Part of the Plaintiff’s allegations were that BNSF: 1) designed a dangerous, unsafe, and unsuitable barrier, and 2) did not allow the Missouri Department of Transportation to replace it. The Plaintiff, a minor, was traveling with her family when the vehicle struck a concrete barrier. Attorneys for the girl argued the barrier was installed in violation of Missouri Department of Transportation and railroad crossing design requirements. Her attorneys also presented evidence that the standards require the concrete barrier to be used on roads with speed limits less than forty (40) miles per hour. However, the speed limit on the road where the crash occurred was sixty (60) miles per hour.
The Plaintiff’s counsel stated that several requests were made over a 5-year period for BNSF to permit the Missouri Department of Transportation to replace the concrete barrier. There was also evidence that fourteen (14) crashes occurred as a result of the concrete barrier prior to the crash involving the minor Plaintiff.
The railway took the position that the accident was caused by speed and poor weather conditions. Obviously, the jury disagreed. The railway company stated it would explore all options available, including appealing the jury’s decision.
A railway company, similar to any commercial transport company, can be liable under the law for its negligent acts. In general, to prove a case of negligence against a railway company, a Plaintiff must show the railway company failed to use ordinary prudence in making its decisions.
If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of an act of negligence by a railway company, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-231-9360 or toll free at 1‑800-594-4884.