Why wasn’t the railroad crossing gated? Why were there no lights? Why wasn’t the crossing locked? When a young mother was struck and killed at a poorly-marked railroad grade crossing, Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C. attorney Morry Cole was hired to investigate the circumstances and prosecute a wrongful death claim. Extensive discovery–including obtaining an order to take control of the tracks for an in-depth inspection–revealed the sobering truth. The collision occurred at a railroad grade crossing that was initially believed to be a public crossing. However, detailed investigation and discovery revealed that the crossing was actually a private grade crossing and that the private crossing had been established by written agreements more than 50 years prior to the collision. Despite several changes in ownership of the tracks at the crossing, as well as the crossing itself, the written agreements were found to still be in effect. The crossing was supposed to be gated and locked under the decades-old agreements. Cole obtained a $6 million settlement on behalf of the young woman’s family. And, the crossing has now been gated and locked, reducing the hazards of the crossing for other motorists.learn more
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