From Jan. 1975 through May 31, 2009, there has been a total of 213,814 Railroad crossing accidents which were reported by the railroads to the National Response Center.
Closer examination reveals that over 20 thousand people were killed in these accidents and another 79,469 were injured.
Shocking statistics were recently reported by the Federal Railroad Administration regarding railroad-related accidents and injuries. It is estimated that cars and trains collide every 12 minutes with a total of 9,570 train accidents in 2009.
Here are some other disturbing statistics:
Of the 9,570 train wrecks……. 649 people were killed…. and 6,686 people were injured.
The average train weighs 12 million pounds, so the weight ratio of a train to a car is about 4,000 to one. This compares to the weight ratio of a car to aluminum can. And A train traveling at 50 mph…. pulling 100 cars… takes one mile to stop….so in a contest between a car and a train….. the train always wins. The motorist in a train/motor vehicle collision is 40 times more likely to die than in a collision between two motor vehicles.
This fact is a real Shocker!
As of December 2009, the United States had 136,041 public at-grade Railroads crossings. Of these crossings, approximately 42,301 have gates, 22,039 have flashing lights, and 1,196 have highway traffic signals, wigwags, and bells.
So Do the Math……The remaining Rail Road crossings…approx 72,000….in America today….OVER 50%…. have NOTHING…… no warning lights…. no gates….and nothing to protect drivers…
PLUS…To make matters even worse….Not only are these 72,000 Crossings “Unprotected”…..
Many of them are Overgrown with weeds, trees and types of vegetation making the crossings DANGEROUS…Like you cannot see the train a’coming!
About 9:30 a.m. on January 19, 1998, Chris Barbor, a trash collector in the city of Goodwin, Arkansas…. and his coworker, Charles Rolfe, were working their route when Charles turned the trash truck off of Highway 70 and approached railroad tracks running parallel to the highway.
Charles slowed and looked both ways down the tracks, seeing and hearing no trains ……he dropped the truck into low gear in order to climb the a 53 inch inclined approach to the crossing.
As the two came upon the tracks, Chris, sitting in the passenger seat, was finally able to see far enough down the tracks to observe a train was coming at about 60 miles per hour.
It was too late. The truck could not clear the track before the arrival of the train. Charles Rolfe was killed and Chris Barber was permanently disabled.
Today the INSIDER EXCLUSIVE “Goes Behind The Headlines” in a new TV Exclusive “ DEATH ON THE TRACKS- Union Pacific Railroad’s $37 Million Dollar “Coverup”to show how Robert Pottroff, Ptr, and Stephen Boyda @ the Pottroff Law Offices….. successfully “uncovered”…as the court wrote..” a pervasive and sinister corporate policy at Union Pacific that put company profits before public safety”
And, as the Court also found…. ‘How Union Pacific intentionally destroyed track records and voice tapes…and all kinds of evidence’
But Bob and Steve expected this from Union Pacific…so Instead of worrying about all the missing evidence….they embraced it and used missing evidence as one of the themes of the case.
The challenge was how to impress on the jury all the items of evidence that were missing.
The solution was to have 12 Empty Big Boxes representing all the missing evidence with labels for all the evidence that should have been preserved.
12 Big Empty Boxes….sitting in the courtroom staring right at the jury!
With a backdrop of missing evidence it was easier to expose the industry’s dirty little secrets about safety issues that the railroad industry have refused to acknowledge.
The jury was so “INFURIATED”….so “DISGUSTED” With Union Pacific’s conduct and flagrant disregard for the safety of all Americans…and even the laws of our great country….
They rendered a Verdict of $5 Million against Union Pacific Railroad for actual damages.. And a “Record Breaking” $25 Million Punitive Damages Award for their flagrant disregard of the law… and for all Americans safety.
After exhausting all their appeal options,…..including a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, the UNION PACIFIC was finally forced to pay just over $37,000,000 to satisfy the judgment.
In its Petition to the U.S. Supreme Court the railroad ….challenged the size of the punitive damage award… by pointing out that it was “by far the largest punitive damages award ever upheld by an American court in a railroad grade crossing case…”
In fact Following this verdict Arkansas railroads began to aggressively clear visibility obstructions at their crossings and paying for maintenance that had been deferred. The result was a tremendous reduction of accidents and fatalities at crossings in Arkansas over the next several years.
Bob Pottroff, and Steve Boydra have earned the highest respect from citizens and lawyers alike…. as some of the best Train Accident lawyers in the nation…. fighting for the victims of railroad companies in the battle for railroad safety.
AND BECAUSE OF THAT…..They are driven to fight for people who had been harmed by the willful or negligent actions of others. Their goals….. Not ONLY To get Justice for his clients…
BUT To make sure that all Railroad companies implement maximum safety protections that all Americans need and deserve.
You can contact Bob Pottroff and Steve Boydra @ www.pottroff.com or 785 539 4656