From Jan. 1975 through May 31, 2009, there has been a total of 213,814 crossing accidents which were reported by the railroads to the National Response Center. Closer examination reveals that OVER 20,000 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 incidents/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 an aluminum can.
• 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.
• Between 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 Railroad 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 VERY DANGEROUS…Like you cannot see the train a’coming!
On November 6, 1998, a Union Pacific train struck the Frank Stevensons’ red Nissan Pulsar, as it crossed the tracks on Highway 364 in Vanndale, Arkansas. As a result of the collision, and Frank suffered severe injuries…has no memory of the accident…And his loving wife of many years was killed! Frank Stevenson had lived 300 feet from the Union Pacific railroad crossing for over 15 years before this accident .
Today the INSIDER EXCLUSIVE “Goes Behind The Headlines” in TV Exclusive “ DEATH ON THE TRACKS- UNION PACIFIC’S DEADLY “COVERUP” ….. to show how Robert Pottroff, Ptr, @ the Pottroff Law Offices, and his team of lawyers, successfully “uncovered”…as the court wrote..
• “a pervasive and sinister corporate policy at Union Pacific that put company profits before public safety” .
And the court continued….
• “Union Pacific intentionally destroyed track records and voice tapes.
• Furthermore, there is evidence from which a jury would reasonably conclude that Union Pacific attempted to conceal `slow orders’ issued for this portion of track.”
The biggest challenge, in this case…. facing Bob and his lawyers was establishing how somebody could ever be hit by a train at such a familiar railroad crossing. This challenge was compounded by an Absence of witnesses to the accident,…..Missing evidence and…. Federal preemption of their strongest claims against the railroad.
Railroad photographs taken by Union Pacific, of “Camera Angles”….. the day of the accident made it appear that the view in both directions was wide open.
But that simply was not true….
Bob illustrated how the wrong camera height allowed the railroad to conceal view obstructions with misleading photos. Unbelievably, Bob showed that :……
• Relevant records that predated the accident were destroyed after the accident and voice recordings of the crew and railroad dispatcher were also destroyed.
• Union Pacific “claimed” that the records were destroyed
• A pattern of discovery abuse was ultimately established.
In a published opinion Federal Court Judge Bill Wilson stated that he was:
• “disturbed by the lack of communication and cooperation within Defendant’s organization”
• ….and that the railroad “in essence, contends that its right hand often knows not what its left hand is doing….and remained willfully blind and uninformed,
• intending to rely on its document retention policies to avoid discovery.”
In addition the railroad was ordered to pay $164,410.25 in attorney fees and costs for discovery abuse.
Union Pacific’s record of seven court sanctions between July 2001 and January 2003 for destroying or failing to preserve evidence —— is outrageous! In fact Union Pacific’s own “Claims Manual” served as its own “Smoking Gun”…
And it states verbatim…..“in more serious cases when Company liability is obvious and no mitigating circumstances develop, no useful purpose is served by extensively documenting evidence…
Bob Pottroff has earned the highest respect from citizens and lawyers alike…. as one 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…..He is driven to fight for people who had been harmed by the willful or negligent actions of others. His goals….. Not ONLY To get Justice for his clients… BUT To make sure that all Railroad companies implement the maximum safety protections that all Americans need and deserve.
You can contact Bob Pottroff and Steve Boydra @ www.pottroff.com or 785 539 4656