Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Tragedy Puts Spotlight On Indiana Victims’ Group

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Johnson County, Indiana – August 3, 2011)

The Jamestown, IN dangerous, unguarded railroad crossing tragedy earlier this week has provided a venue for an Indiana-based railroad grade crossing accident victims’ organization that is raising funds for crossing protection neither railroads nor government agencies would provide.

Indianapolis television station WTHR, Channel 13 focused Wednesday on “Arms of Life”, an effort born of the tragic deaths of two Indiana brothers, Travis (9) and Jake (12) Findley, who died in a February, 2007 tragedy at the Indiana Railroad Company crossing of Stones Crossing Road in Greenwood, IN.

The two brothers were passengers in an SUV which was struck at the crossing, equipped solely by crossbuck signs, by a IRC train of five locomotives hauling 59 cars at 35 mph. Three other occupants of the car were seriously injured, and the IRC’s narrative on the required Federal Railroad Administration report form audaciously claimed that the “Train was approaching crossing northbound when vehicle encroached on railroad property, fouling tracks and resulted in being struck by train.”

Chuck Findley, the boys’ father, decided there were other, more effective methods of reaction than outcry, formed the “Arms of Life” organization, and in barely four years since the tragedy has raised over $750,000 to provide gates and lights at unguarded Indiana railroad crossings. The first of three completed was the notorious Stones Crossing Road intersection, and a fourth installation is currently underway.

“If we can save at least one life because of those crossings, that’s worth it,” says Findley of the ongoing effort. WTHR-TV pointed out that, out of approximately 5,800 public railroad crossings in the state, 2600 are still guarded solely by signs.

“It’s a matter of priorities,” said Indiana DOT Spokesman Henry Maginity.

“You can’t take life for granted,” countered “Arms of Life” founder Findley.


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