Wednesday, June 17, 2009

PDKH lawyers Jeff Kirby & Chris Cochran obtain 6 Million Dollar Verdict in FELA/train wreck case

On April 19, 2009, PDKH attorneys Jeff Kirby, and J. Chris Cochran obtained a $6,000,000 verdict in Clarke County, Alabama, for a former Norfolk Southern conductor who was severely injured Feb. 14, 2005, at the Walker Springs crossing. The accident involved a log truck and a Norfolk-Southern Railway train.

The Clarke County Democrat reported the $10,948,250 cumulative award may be the largest cumulative civil judgment in Clarke County's judicial history and the complicated trial, which lasted 13 days from March 30 until April 17, is also likely the longest in the county's history.

Plaintiff attorneys alleged two major issues in the case: 1. The railroad's habit of parking rail cars on a siding south of the crossing could obscure the view of an oncoming train and did hide the train that hit the log driver truck. 2. The fact that the crossbuck sign, the traditional "X" that indicates a railroad crossing, was only 12 feet from the track when railroad regulations say it should be 24 feet.

Railroad employees maintained in sworn affidavits prior the trial that the sign was at the proper distance. However, at trial they admitted otherwise. While the trial was in progress, the crossbuck sign was moved to its proper 24 foot distance.

For more information, contact Pittman Dutton Kirby & Hellums lawyers at 205.322.8880.

The Clarke County Democrat published an article about the case on April 23, 2009;
click here :