A lifelong railroad conductor sustained fatal third degree burns covering nearly 100% of his body in a fiery explosion when the freight train he was working aboard collided with a gasoline tanker truck hauling over 8,000 gallons of petroleum at a railroad crossing in Chalmette, Louisiana. Local St. Bernard Parish Deputies courageously rendered critical first aid before he was lifted by helicopter to Charity Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conductor, represented by our firm, clung to life for over 10 hours, finally succumbing to his terrible burn injuries. The train’s locomotive engineer also perished in the explosion.
The conductor’s surviving wife and adult sons brought a wrongful death suit and survival action against the conductor’s railroad company employer, the trucking company that pulled in front of the train, as well as the local governing authorities responsible for the highway design.
In the course of the litigation, this family successfully argued that in addition to the clear negligence of the commercial truck driver exhibited by his failure to yield to the oncoming freight train, the conductor’s railroad company employer failed under federal law, specifically, the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA), to exercise due care in providing its employee with a reasonably safe place to work.
Utilizing the latest technology in computer animation as well as the expertise of industry leading experts in the fields of railroad crossing safety and highway and roadway design, our firm was able to prove to the Defendants that despite the negligence of the truck driver in pulling in front of the train, the design of the railroad crossing itself and the roadway leading to the crossing were unreasonably dangerous and defective.
Just before trial, the conductor’s family, through our firm, successfully negotiated a total settlement from all Defendants in the amount $5,750,000.00.