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Unprotected Rural Railroad Crossing Kills Experienced Driver

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Lewellen, Nebraska – February 15, 2011) An 85-year-old, lifelong area resident died about 3:20 P.M. at a rural railroad crossing of Union Pacific Railroad tracks about a mile west of this small, western Nebraska town. According to the Sidney Sun-Telegraph, the crossing has no gates or lights, just crossbuck signs. The Nebraska State Patrol said that Clayton Brunt’s pickup truck was moving across the grade crossing when the train struck it, killing Brunt, who was married and the father of three, grandfather of seven and great-grandfather of nine.

Railroads notoriously neglect railroad crossings which traverse rural roads.  In cities, typically a local city planner will keep railroads honest about creating safe crossings.  In rural counties, less resources prevents the same sort of local government oversight.  Railroads take advantage by leaving crossings unguarded, even though they know putting lights and gates at a crossing significantly reduces accidents at railroad crossings (provided they work properly).  



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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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