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Railroad News

Ohio man killed at unguarded railroad crossing with vegetation

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

A 76-year-old man was hit by a Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad train in Crawford County, Ohio on Wednesday morning.  The railroad crossing has no lights or gates to protect or warn approaching vehicles and pedestrians of an approaching train.

A local who lives two houses from the railroad crossing says: "When you are driving north and the corn is grown up like it is now, you cannot see if a train is coming. There has been one other fatal accident since I have lived here, and that was also because of the crossing. It was a motorcycle that was hit by a train."

95% of all crossing accidents are prevented by the installation of lights and gates. This technology is over 100 years old. Unlike virtually every other type of technology, lights and gates have steadily increased in price over the years – ever since railroads were given the ability to charge the US government for these installations. Other countries have been able to install active warning devices at railroad crossings for 1/10th the cost we are spending in the United States. Until we demand accountable for these expenditures railroads will continue to milk the government for as much profit as they can drain out of the federal railroad safety program. This profiteering will limit the number of lights and gates that be installed with our tax dollars. 

Us members of the public get outraged when we hear about $100 toilet seats being purchased by the federal government, and yet nobody complains about railroads charge 10 times more than lights and gates should cost.  If they simply charged a fair amount for this type of safety device, then we could have lights and gates at every railroad crossing. Unfortunately, railroads do not like to maintain lights and gates at crossings. Therefore, they have engaged in delay tactics, overcharging, and diversion of funds to limit the number of railroad crossings that have lights and gates.


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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.

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

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