Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Midland Texas Railroad Accident Legal Actions May Involve Numerous Parties

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Midland, Texas – November 26, 2012)

Speculation as to which entities may find themselves defendants, as well as plaintiffs, in anticipated legal actions involving the November 15 Midland, Texas wounded veterans “Show of Support” parade train accident has begun to surface as the fatal victims’ funerals are conducted and the injured slowly recover from both the mental and physical trauma they endured.

In an article in Monday’s edition of the Midland Reporter-Telegram, staff writer Joe Basco explored the potential parties who may or may not find themselves involved in the legal process as the National Transportation Safety Board continues the lengthy investigation which may take as long as a year to see a completion and publication of its findings.

Meanwhile, as Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter observes, “Anyone can sue anyone.”

Kevin Glasheen, a highly successful Lubbock, TX-based personal injury attorney who has teamed with railroad accident attorney Bob Pottroff of Manhattan, KS to represent two of the injured survivors of the wounded warriors parade train accident. These victims, Sgt. Richard Sanchez and his wife, Heather, were interviewed for the article. Partially paralyzed and facing a lengthy recovery, Sgt. Sanchez was able to finally move the five toes of his foot Sunday, but still cannot walk.

While Glasheen feels that “The city probably won’t get sued, but the damages awarded would be significantly less if they did,” pointing out that “sovereign immunity” protects local, state and federal government from lawsuits. However, in Texas, the “Texas Tort Claims Act” makes three exceptions to the rule, one of them the use of a motor-driven vehicle. He also felt Union Pacific might go after every party involved in the incident, including the city of Midland in order to “lessen the amount of blame on Union Pacific.”

Midland City Attorney Keith Stretcher refused to comment on any possibility of the city being sued for liability in the Midland parade train accident. The provision of Midland Police officers and Midland County Sheriff’s deputies as parade escorts could potentially put both entities in jeopardy of a suit.

However, Houston-based injury attorney Brian Beckcom of the firm of Vujasinovic and Beckcom said that if he was working on the case “I would not sue the police.” But he pointed out that in terms of traffic accidents, negligence potentially applies to everyone, which could make the entities that provided the police escorts’ responsible parties.

The Midland Reporter-Telegram has already filed Freedom of Information Act requests with both the city and county for “any documents that authorized local law enforcement officers to participate in the parade detail,” as well as copies of previous years’ “Show of Support” parade permits. Under the law, the governmental units have 10 days from the November 20 filing date to comply with the newspaper’s request.


Railroad News


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.

James Perrin Lubbock, Texas

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.

Scott McCluen Harriman, Tennessee

Nathan Karlin has my strongest endorsement in the field of railroad crossing cases and personal injury law. I had the pleasure of working with Nathan in a complex railroad personal injury case. I was impressed by Nathan’s knowledge, his work ethic, and his dedication to the client. I look forward to working with Nathan on future injury matters. I am also aware firsthand that he has obtained excellent trial and settlement results in numerous cases involving members of the public harmed by railroad companies.

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.

Robert Schuetze Boulder, Colorado

Mr. Pottroff has shaken the rail industry to its very roots. Settlements are now more common as a result of the way he has exposed the industry’s wrongdoing.

Mike Easley Arkansas

Bob Pottroff’s work in railroad safety law is unmatched and he has been the source of great advice and phenomenal creativity.

Roger Brown Jefferson City, Missouri

In addition to his substantive contributions to railroad grade crossing safety, I have personally observed his untiring efforts and contributions to improving the integrity of the legal system.

Elizabeth Hardy Lake Charles, Louisiana

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8