Another Defense Verdict for SAKG in Railroad Crossing Case

The trial team of Sean Hamer and Paula Brown and paralegal Karen Frisbie won another verdict for The Kansas City Southern Railway Company in a Jackson County, MO grade crossing case.  The car-train crash happened in 2019 at a passive grade crossing on Front Street in Kansas City, MO.  A KCSR conductor was on the ground at the crossing warning motorists of an approaching, slow-moving shove of rail cars from an industry track.  The driver of an SUV failed to yield, passed within feet of the shouting conductor, and slammed her SUV into the caboose at the leading end of the shove movement. A passenger in the vehicle was killed.  The passenger’s son brought a wrongful death claim and was represented by Langdon & Emison in Lexington, MO.  The driver sued for physical injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder and was represented by Davis, Bethune & Jones, LLC of Kansas City, MO.

The Court threw out several of the claims before trial, but the case proceeded to a jury on Plaintiff’s “failure to provide an adequate warning” claim.  Plaintiff argued the caboose should have been reflectorized, a special marker device should have been placed on its knuckle, and two employees should have been on the ground warning traffic.  Through scene and equipment photos, eyewitness and law enforcement officer testimony, and an accident reconstruction video, the SAKG trial team demonstrated that the KCSR conductor properly flagged the crossing and the caboose was clearly visible had the driver kept a careful lookout and used the highest degree of care in operating her vehicle.

The Plaintiff asked the jury for $3-$7 million on the wrongful death claim, and the driver asked the jury for $11.5 million.  After three hours of deliberation, the jury rendered a verdict in favor of KCSR on both claims finding the driver 100% at fault.  This is the second crossing case defense verdict for Sean Hamer, Paula Brown and Karen Frisbie in the past two months.