Back in 2012, there was a Union Pacific train involved in a crash that killed 4 military veterans on a parade float. The family members of the 4 veterans sued Union Pacific for the wrongful death of their relative. The families claimed that UP did not follow federal regulations, and because of this, caused the tragic accident. According to the case, Texas entered into an agreement with UP that there would be a 30-second warning at train crossings. However, the federal requirement is at least 20-seconds. The cross in Midland gives exactly a 20.4-second warning. Since this case had to do with Federal regulations, the court deferred the case to the Federal Railroad Administration. They found that UP did not violate any regulations, and the court upheld this decision.
Last Thursday, the families issued a petition to the Supreme Court. They claim that the courts wrongfully concluded the FRA’s interpretation instead of construing the text of the regulation as Kisor requires. In a statement, UP said “The NTSB found Union Pacific was not the cause of the accident, but rather the parade organizers, the city of Midland and Midland County. A Texas trial court and the Court of Appeals ruled Union Pacific complied with federal law and was not legally responsible for this tragic accident, and the Texas Supreme Court refused to hear the case. Filing with the U.S. Supreme Court is the plaintiffs’ final opportunity to appeal the trial court’s decision.” However, the attorney for the families argues “Four veterans went to war, were wounded, yet survived to return to celebrate with their spouses in a victory parade,” the petition read. “They did not, however, survive the railroad’s failure to follow the 30-second warning safety design required by the federally mandated contract between the state of Texas and Union Pacific.”
Wrongful Death Litigation
A wrongful death claim is substantially different than a normal personal injury case. Due to the complexities surrounding the burden of proof, it is important to have an attorney that is experienced with navigating the case law that is required to successfully present a case. Whereas with a personal injury case, the soft records of the injury can be used to provide documentation of the damages, in a wrongful death claim that type of documentation is not as easy to obtain. Having an attorney that can fight for the appropriate amount of compensation to assist the living beneficiaries with life after the person’s death is something that takes skill, compassion, and knowledge of the law.
If you have questions about filing a wrongful death claim, finding the right representation is essential. Our team of attorneys has vast experience in wrongful death claims. We will do everything that we can to get the best possible result for the family members left behind. Call The Texas Law Guns at our San Antonio office or contact us online for a consultation so that we can show you how our expertise can work for you.