A Texas jury has awarded $10.9 million to the family of a woman who was killed after her truck was hit by a train at a railway crossing in Louisiana. According to an Associated Press news report, the family plans to the use the money to care for Patsy Adroin’s 4-year-old daughter, Jasmine Cezar, who survived the horrific accident, but is paralyzed from the chest down as a result of the July 2005 crash.
The crash reportedly occurred when Adroin stopped at a stop sign in front of the said crossing at Vinta, La., which did not have any automatic gates or lights, the article said. When Adroin then drove on over the tracks, she got hit by a passing Union Pacific train. Jurors, who deliberated after a trial that lasted more than two weeks, assigned 65 percent of the blame on Union Pacific, 15 percent on Adroin and 20 percent on the state of Louisiana.
Union Pacific officials say they will appeal the case and are disappointed by the verdict. The company has also sued the town of Vinton and Adroin’s estate, which is still pending.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has statistics that show that 60 percent of all railway crossing fatalities happen at unprotected crossings and that about 80 percent of all public railroad crossings are not protected by lights or safety gates.
At Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, we’ve represented many clients over the years who were victims of train accidents. The most common cases involve crashes with other trains, derailment, accidents with passenger vehicles, improperly maintained tracks and equipment as well as driver inexperience, negligence or fatigue.
We’re pleased for the woman’s family that was awarded the money to care of the little girl who was severely injured and paralyzed in the crash. But, the railway company and their attorneys will probably make it really, really hard for the family to get the money and give this girl the quality of life and the treatment she so badly needs.
Personal injury lawyers have a very important role to play when it comes to protecting the rights of the common man and this case is a great example of that. Who else can people turn to when they’re severely injured or have lost a loved one, employment, their life savings and dignity?
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a train accident, call us. We may be able to help.