railroad accidents

Train Accident Lawyers

Statistics show that more than 2,500 railroad-related deaths occurred nationwide between 2006 and 2008 with 42 of those deaths in Arkansas. The numbers for injuries run much higher and often those injuries tend to be catastrophic, bringing great pain and suffering. The Arkansas railroad accident attorneys at Easley & Houseal are experienced in the complex investigations and personal injury and negligence litigation that accompany Arkansas railroad accidents and deaths.

Timing is very important if you or someone you know are involved in a railroad accident. Representatives from the railroad company and federal, state and local agencies will arrive on the scene quickly. The best action you can take is to call an experienced and established personal injury attorney who is familiar with railroad accident laws in Arkansas, such as the lawyers at Easley & Houseal.

Contact Easley and Houseal (870) 633-1447

 

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Death on the Tracks

“At 5:45 p.m., with the autumn sun dipping toward the horizon, Blas Lopez, a father of four young children, drove his truck loaded with potatoes bound for market onto a railroad crossing in south-central Washington State. In an instant, a 4,700-ton Union Pacific train rammed Mr. Lopez's truck with the force of an explosion, ripping apart his body.”

-From the Pulitzer Prize winning series, “Death on the Tracks” by Walt Bogdanich.

The 6-part series reports on the railroad industry.


High court rejects Union Pacific appeal in $30 million judgment

By James Jefferson Associated Press Writer

LITTLE ROCK (AP) The U.S. Supreme Court refused Tuesday to consider Union Pacific Railroad's appeal of $30 million in damages awarded to a man left partially paralyzed from a crossing accident in St. Francis County.

Without comment, justices declined to consider whether the punitive part of the damages was excessive in the case of Christopher Barber of Wynne. Multiple groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, had urged the court to take the case. In February, the Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed a St. Francis County jury's $30 million award to Barber, who suffered a spinal cord injury when a Union Pacific train hit the garbage truck in which he was riding on Jan. 19, 1998.

The train accident killed Charles E. Rolfe, 40, of Widener. Barber, of Wynne, was 32 at the time of the accident just north of U.S. 70 near Goodwin. No one aboard the train was injured. The state Supreme Court ruled that Union Pacific did not adequately clear brush along the tracks near the eastern Arkansas crossing despite being told several times that the crossing was unsafe because of the overgrowth.

The jury award, $5.1 million in actual damages and $25 million in punitive damages, was believed to be the largest jury award approved by the Supreme Court in the state's history. Barber's lawyer, Robert L. Pottroff of Manhattan, Kan., said the U.S. Supreme Court decision was a "huge victory" for his client and for people of Arkansas, a state that he described as the most dangerous place in the United States to be in a motor vehicle approaching a grade crossing. "The people of Arkansas, through the jury system, were able to speak back," Pottroff said. "Hopefully, Arkansas won't be the No. 1 leader in fatalities at grade crossings if this system works. The railroad now has to become accountable for its decades of indifference."

The railroad did not immediately comment.