Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Passenger Seeking to Board One Chicago Metra Train Killed by Another

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Franklin Park, Illinois – February 6, 2014)

A Melrose Park, IL woman, crossing Northern Illinois Regional Commuter Rail Corporation railroad tracks via a pedestrian crossing designated as such but having no protective devices, and intending to board a Metra passenger commuter train on the Milwaukee District West Line at the Franklin Park, IL Metra station, was struck and killed by a Metra express train at 40 mph Thursday morning.

Florence Perez, 44, was walking from the east side of the 25th Avenue station platform to the west side when the westbound express train, which does not stop at Franklin Park, struck and killed her. The ground-level pedestrian crossing she was using to cross the tracks has no lights, bells or gates to keep passengers from crossing when non-stop trains come through, rather being equipped only by a yellow sign, placed high and not aimed for passengers walking parallel to the tracks along the platform, that advises commuters to “Look for trains”.

Franklin Park Chief of Police Mike Witz said that the victim got too close to the rail while walking on the platform. “She misjudged it,” he surmised.

Metra Spokesman Tom Miller said the tragedy occurred at 7:57 A.M., and that trains were running again through the death scene in less than an hour.

One unidentified Metra passenger observed that “It would be safer crossing the tracks if there were bells or a crossing gate. There are a lot of trains that run along this line.”

The man’s estimation is quite correct, as, according to the Federal Railroad Administration, 78 Metra trains travel that rail corridor daily, as do an additional two dozen freight trains of four other railroads.


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