WHAT HAPPENED: Our client was a passenger railroad engineer. Her train collided with a dump truck at a railroad crossing. The dump truck operator was delivering asphalt to a construction site and claimed he did not see the train until he was on the crossing and the gate was coming down.
Our client claimed she had no opportunity to stop the train even though she placed it into emergency braking status, and collided with the truck at about fifteen miles per hour.
Our client could not return to her job as an engineer because of the various injuries to her knees and her low back. The trucking company claimed that the railroad's crossing gates did not work properly, and that the engineer also failed to stop in an appropriate manner to avoid the collision.
KEY LEGAL STRATEGY: We retained a top expert on both trucking operations as well as various railroad worker experts to talk about the proper train operation of the engineer. Ultimately, major questions were raised by experts as to whether the crossing gates had properly operated, and the expert retained by our firm was able to show dramatically that the truck driver had not kept a proper lookout for the approaching train, and/or had "bailed out" of his truck right on the train crossing rather than moving through the crossing as was safely possible.