Fatal train-vehicle collision

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Case in Point

April 24, 2012

Fatal train-vehicle collision 

The plaintiff alleged that the railroad’s employees had deactivated the crossing signals earlier in the day for maintenance but failed to reactivate them, leaving the crossing totally unprotected. The parties settled for $6 million. Lunn v. Ill. C. R.R.

Katie Ann Lunn, a 26-year-old dancer and dance instructor, was driving home after watching her students perform in a competition. As she went through a railroad crossing, her SUV was struck by a high-speed train. Lunn suffered fatal injuries. She is survived by her parents, brother, and sister.

Lunn’s father, on behalf of her estate, sued Illinois Central Railroad, alleging that the railroad’s employees had deactivated the crossing signals earlier in the day for maintenance but failed to reactivate them, leaving the crossing totally unprotected.

The lawsuit sought loss-of-society damages only.

After the plaintiffs discovered a video of the crash, the railroad admitted liability, and the case proceeded to a trial on damages.

The parties settled after jury selection for $6 million.

Citation: Lunn v. Ill. C. R.R., No. 10 L 8093 (Ill., Cook Co. Cir. Mar. 12, 2012).

Plaintiff counsel: AAJ member Michael K. Demetrio, Chicago.


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