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Railroad News

Disabled pedestrian hit by train at railroad crossing

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

A 67 year old man of Keyser, West Virginia was struck and killed by a freight train Wednesday night.  The wheels of the disabled man’s scooter became stuck in between the rail and the asphalt at the crossing.  Though he struggled to move the scooter, he was unable to get unstuck before an approaching freight train collided with the man and killed him.

The crossing itself is outfitted with a protective gate, though it is unclear how long the man was stuck on the tracks before struck by the train.

This railroad crossing needs to be fixed to accomodate not only cars, but persons who cannot drive a car – the young, the poor who cannot afford a car, some elderly persons, and the disabled.  Rail companies are not known for focusing on pedestrian safety – in fact, they’re known to ignore it, calling accidents instances of trespassing and refusing to consider ways of improving safety.  This tragedy clearly demonstrates a fundamental flaw with this reasoning: it overlooks the disabled and others who cannot drive.

To make railroad crossings safe, pedestrians absolutely must be included.  Tracks with obstructions, bumps, holes, and other natural products of wear and tear must be repaired regularly and promptly.  This tragedy – and others like it – demand it.


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Train crash cases are unique and complex with many different potential pitfalls, such as federal preemption. Anytime I get hired or even get a call from a train crash victim, my very first call is to Nathan’s firm. Nathan’s knowledge and experience in handling and trying cases against these litigation savvy railroad companies gives me the confidence to know that the clients and cases I refer to him are getting the best of the best.

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I have had the opportunity to work as co-counsel with Nathan on several railroad crossing accidents cases. In each case, Nathan always possessed an incredible knowledge of the law and the facts, possessed a great talent for aggressive - strategic legal planning and trial tactics while, at the same time, displaying great skill as an effective negotiator. I would recommend him to anyone without hesitation.

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Joseph M. Miller Mandeville, Louisiana

Nathan is a warrior fighting the railroads. As a fellow personal injury lawyer, I have constantly been impressed with his depth of knowledge and his capabilities from case to case. I’d take him into battle with me any day against the biggest railroads and insurance companies on the planet.

Jon C. Clark Austin, Texas

Bob Pottroff has fought for the victims of the railroads’ callous disregard for safety more than any other attorney that I know. I should know because I am currently Chair-elect of the Railroad Section of ATLA.

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Elizabeth Hardy Lake Charles, Louisiana

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