Published Railroad Crossing Accident Decisions
Under the guidance of train accident lawyer Robert Pottroff, the law firm of Pottroff Law Office, P.A. has litigated and won numerous railroad crossing accident cases. Our lawyers work tirelessly to provide the best representation for our clients, which often involves developing unique strategies and exploiting unconventional avenues of litigation. Like any law firm, the vast majority of our cases settle before ever reaching a jury trial, but when we do go to court, we are successful.
Though our train accident attorneys have been involved in numerous cases across 23 different states (and counting), we have opted not to publish many of them here. With the exception of a few cases which have generated significant media attention, we prefer to keep cases confidential out of respect for our clients. If you'd like to get in contact with our former clients, contact us, and we can get you in touch with former clients in a confidential manner.
On Why We Don't Publish Settlements
It is important to understand that settlement results are often very misleading. Though many touted settlements may sound impressive, monetary value can be deceiving. Some cases are best handled by settling out of court, but some cases should be taken to court. If a case is "worth" tens of millions of dollars, yet a settlement was made at one million, the attorney clearly did not handle the case properly. This often occurs due to a lack of experience or a fear of losing in court. Estimating the success of any given attorney or law firm should not be treated solely on the basis of monetary compensation recovered. For our attorneys and staff, our proudest achievements are found in our long history of helping victims recover and find justice, and in our history of improving railroad safety.
Our most recent verdict, Chase v. Burlington-Northern Sante Fe Railroad, came on June 13, 2008. This verdict was reafirmed on March 28, 2012. Four young adults were killed at a railroad crossing in Anoka, Minnesota when the crossing arms malfunctioned and failed to warn the driver of an oncoming Burlington Northern Santa Fe train. Mr. Pottroff argued that the railroad hid evidence and tampered with the black box that records how the crossing safety equipment functioned at the time of the accident. The jury awarded the victims' families $24 million in compensatory damages.
In Barber v. Union Pacific Railroad, Mr. Pottroff, along with attorney Steve Boyda, obtained a jury verdict in excess of $30,000,000.00 for a passenger severely injured in a railroad crossing accident. The verdict included $5.1 million in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages. This was by far the largest punitive damages award ever given in a railroad crossing accident case.
In Morris v. Union Pacific Railroad, Pottroff Law Office, P.A. represented a tow truck driver who was injured by a moving train while towing another vehicle off the railroad tracks. The jury awarded a verdict of $8 million in compensatory damages.
In Stevenson v. Union Pacific Railroad, the law firm of Pottroff Law Office, P.A. obtained a jury verdict of $2 million for a client who suffered brain damage in a railroad crossing accident in November 2001. The jury found that the railroad company had allowed the vegetation around the track to become overgrown, which obstructed the driver's view of the crossing.
On March 4, 1997, Robert Pottroff obtained a jury verdict in excess of $10,000,000.00 on behalf of a twenty-five year-old client who was injured in a railroad crossing accident. The jury found the railroad 99% at fault and the plaintiff 1%.