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Railroad News

Two killed in train-car crash at unguarded Louisiana crossing

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

A respected pastor and his wife were killed on Sunday morning at an unguarded crossing in Lemoine, LA.  The crossing is not outfitted with any safety devices – no lights or gates.  Only a crossbuck sign exists to mark the location of the crossing.  The oncoming train hit the car on the passenger’s side, causing the car to burst into flames and pushing it nearly 200 feet.  The driver and passenger were both killed immediately upon impact.

What makes an already heartbreaking and alarming tragedy all the worse is that the driver was known in the community for speaking out about the dangers of unprotected crossings.  Initial inspection into the cause of the accident has revealed that he likely was completely unaware that a train was approaching.

The heartbroken members of the small community are now planning to install lights and gates at this crossing immediately.  They say that their pastor would have eagerly wanted to do the same.

Of course, they’ll need the railroad to cooperate with them on that one.  Will the railroad cooperate?  If history has anything to teach, they might stall and/or ignore the problem for even longer.  It should not take a tragedy to make a life-threatening crossing reasonably safe.  Yet sometimes even a tragedy will not persuade a railroad company.

Which is all the more reason that more public outcry is needed.  If a respected member of the community well aware of the dangers of railroad crossings could fall victim to a deadly crossing accident, perhaps the problem isn’t a lack of educating the public on railroad crossing safety (as Operation Lifesaver preaches) – but unprotected and improperly maintained railroad crossings.


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

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