(October 28, 2020) Chad Trammell is litigating a railroad accident complaint following a passenger vehicle-train collision at a railroad grade crossing in Little River County, Ark., that resulted in two fatalities of occupants of the vehicle and incapacitating injuries of a third.
The January 2016 accident occurred when a train was traveling at 52 miles per hour as it approached a crossing equipped with “crossbuck” markings, white x’s that say “railroad crossing,” and without active warning devices such as lights and gates. According to the complaint, the crossing, which has been the site of at least two prior train collisions, is an “essentially local safety hazard” crossing due to its diagonal approach providing poor sight lines for motor vehicles and vegetation and debris further hindering visibility.
According to the complaint, the railroad company is guilty of breach of its duty to protect the public constituting negligence, gross negligence and reckless disregard for the safety of the Plaintiffs. The suit accuses the Defendant of failing to provide a reasonably safe crossing by not maintaining the crossing environment and keeping it clear of brush, tree limbs, debris and other visibility hazards; and failure to provide adequate audible or visual warning of the approaching train in violation of federal regulations. The suit also accuses the railroad company of inadequate training of crewmembers for failing to instruct train crews and other employees on how to identify “essentially local safety hazards,” which should have protected the crossing by a slow order in effect for this section of track.
The complaint asks for compensatory damages, court costs, attorney fees and punitive damages for the injured Plaintiff, and wrongful death compensation and loss of earnings for the estates of the deceased.
The case is being litigated by Chad Trammell, co-counsel Nathin Karlin of Potroff & Karlin, and Trammell & Piazza Of Counsel Eric T. Bishop.
The suit is pending before Circuit Judge Tom Cooper of the Ninth West Judicial Circuit.