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ARTICLE ID 189376

$________ – RAILROAD NEGLIGENCE – ENGINEER GETS DISTRACTED AND TRAIN DERAILS GOING 68 MPH IN TEN MPH ZONE – PLAINTIFFS SUSTAIN INJURIES INCLUDING AGGRAVATION OF PREEXISTING SPONDYLOLISTHESIS – FUSION SURGERIES TO SPINE – LIABILITY ADMITTED.

Cook County, IL

In this railroad negligence matter, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant railroad and its engineer were negligent in operating the train in a negligent manner which caused it to derail while traveling 68 miles per hour in a ten mile per hour maximum zone. As a result of the derailment, the plaintiffs sustained injuries, the most serious of which was the 54-year-old plaintiff’s back injury which required multiple surgeries and implantation of a spinal cord pain stimulator. The defendant admitted liability but disputed the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries and damages.

The three plaintiffs were heading home on the defendant’s train from the Chicago marathon where the male plaintiff had just completed the race. The female plaintiff, the runner’s wife and their daughter were also passengers on the train on October 12, ________ when it derailed. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant’s engineer was negligent in missing a red signal and proceeding through a crossover with a maximum allowed speed of ten miles per hour at a speed of 68 miles per hour. As a result of the engineer’s negligence, the train derailed and caused the plaintiffs to suffer injuries.

The most serious of the injuries belonged to the plaintiff wife, age 54, who suffered an aggravation of her preexisting asymptomatic spondylolisthesis at the L5-S1 level of her lumbar spine. While both sides agreed that the condition was preexisting. the plaintiff alleged that she experienced no symptoms in the six years leading up to the derailment. After the derailment, the plaintiff experienced back pain which required her to undergo two spinal fusion surgeries. She also had to have a permanent spinal cord pain stimulator implanted. The plaintiff wife continues to experience permanent back pain which has had a significant impact on her activities of daily living.

The plaintiffs brought suit against the defendant railroad alleging negligence on the part of the engineer in the operation of the train which caused it to derail and injure the plaintiffs. The defendant admitted liability and admitted that the plaintiff wife’s preexisting back condition was exacerbated, but disputed the nature and extent of her injuries. The defendant maintained that the plaintiff wife was experiencing back pain leading up to the derailment and the derailment was not the cause of her need for surgeries and her continued back pain and impairment.The matter proceeded to trial. The parties agreed to a settlement of the plaintiffs’ claims on the fifth day of trial. The parties agreed to a settlement of $________.

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