This past July 4th a Union Pacific train derailed and resultantly collapsed a bridge in a Chicago suburb, reports The Chicago Sun-Times. The weather was over 100 degrees at the time of the accident, which is said by Union Pacific to be the cause of the derailment. Fortunately, the train was not a passenger train, and was only transporting coal. However, at least two people were found dead after being crushed by the collapsed bridge and derailed train.
One of the accident’s victims was a 69-year-old Chicago man, and the other was his 70-year-old wife of over 47 years. Their son has filed a wrongful death suit on their behalf against Union Pacific, claiming, “Union Pacific was negligent, failed to properly build and repair its tracks near the viaduct and failed to take notice of ‘dangerous and unsafe operating conditions.'” The claim regarding the repair and building of the tracks results from the fact that there have been two previous derailments in the same spot.
Additionally, there was reinforcement added to the bridge in question in the past year. Both sides are using this information to their advantage. On one hand, Union Pacific could be said to have been aware of the shortfalls of their bridge. On the other hand, Union Pacific could be said to have taken the necessary measures to be void of negligence.
Union Pacific also claims that it had done multiple checks on the bridge and tracks, including the morning of the accident, and found nothing wrong. They argue that the abnormal excess build up of train cars was more than the bridge could handle. Despite the excuses, the plaintiff’s attorney does not think that it is acceptable for something so tragic to happen. Our Chicago car accident attorneys understand the feeling, and recognize the desire for answers and reconciliation.
Included in the suit was a motion to suspend cleanup efforts at the site of the accident. Union Pacific has since halted cleanup efforts so that investigation can be done. However, Union Pacific is already running trains on a makeshift bridge and track. This has incited criticism from the plaintiff, who argues that this demonstrates that Union Pacific is more concerned with business than the potential consequences of their actions.
Regardless, each and every Chicago car accident lawyer at Levin & Perconti feels strongly that the legal system is meant to uncover answers and find solutions to such situations. We hope to see a just resolution to the case, and understand that there are potentially serious consequences on all sides of the aisle. When it comes to negligence, however, pain and suffering is what is made possible, and there may be legal recourse. Should you or a loved one be injured or killed as a result of another’s negligence, you can contact our team of dedicated Chicago car accident lawyers to find out what legal rights may be available to you.