Published Railroad Crossing Accident Decisions

The law firm of Pottroff & Karlin, LLC has litigated and won numerous railroad crossing accident cases. Our lawyers work tirelessly to provide the best representation for our clients, which often involves developing unique strategies and exploiting unconventional avenues of litigation.  Like any law firm, the vast majority of our cases settle before ever reaching a jury trial, but when we do go to court, we are successful.

Though our train accident attorneys have been involved in numerous cases across 38 different states (and counting), we have opted not to publish many of them here. With the exception of our five largest jury verdicts in last twenty years which have generated significant media attention, we prefer to keep cases confidential out of respect for our clients. If you’d like to get in contact with our former clients, contact us, and we can get you in touch with former clients in a confidential manner.

On Why We Don’t Publish Settlements

It is important to understand that settlement results are often very misleading. Though many touted settlements may sound impressive, monetary value can be deceiving.  Some cases are best handled by settling out of court, but some cases should be taken to court.  If a case is worth tens of millions of dollars, yet a settlement was made at one million, the attorney clearly did not handle the case properly.This often occurs due to a lack of experience or a fear of losing in court.  Estimating the success of any given attorney or law firm should not be treated solely on the basis of monetary compensation recovered. For our attorneys and staff, our proudest achievements are found in our long history of helping victims recover and find justice, and in our history of improving railroad safety. In order to obtain a just verdict, it is critically important for any defendant, especially a railroad, to know that the law firm representing you has appropriately handled the case and has the ability bring the case through trial and obtain a just verdict.

Pottroff & Karlin, LLC Top Five Verdicts

In Chase v. BNSF Railway, Pottroff & Karlin, LLC obtained a jury verdict of $24,000,000.00 for four young adults who were killed in a railroad crossing collision in Anoka, Minnesota.  On top of the verdict, the judge imposed an additional sanction against BNSF in excess of $4,000,000.00 for its mishandling, destruction, lying, and covering up of evidence.

In Barber v. Union Pacific Railroad, Pottroff & Karlin, LLC obtained a jury verdict in excess of $30,000,000.00 for a passenger severely injured in a railroad crossing collision. The verdict included $5.1 million in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages.  This was by far the largest punitive damages award ever given in a railroad crossing accident case.

In Morris v. Union Pacific Railroad, Pottroff & Karlin, LLC represented a tow truck driver who was injured by a moving train while towing another vehicle off the railroad tracks. The jury awarded a verdict of $8,000,000.00 in compensatory damages.

In Alcorn v. Union Pacific Railroad and Amtrak, the jury awarded a $160,400,000.00 verdict for a passenger who was seriously injured at a crossing that did not have any lights and gates.  The jury awarded $40.4 million is actual damages and $120 million in punitive.  The verdict was later reduced on appeal.

In Stark v. Kansas Southwestern Railroad, Pottroff & Karlin, LLC, obtained a jury verdict in excess of $10,000,000.00 on behalf of a twenty-five year-old client who was injured in a railroad crossing collision. The jury found the railroad 99% at fault and the plaintiff 1%.

Railroad News
November 14, 2020

Arizona Motorist Killed at Dangerous, Unguarded Union Pacific Crossing

October 29, 2020

Wichita, Kansas Motorist Killed and Passenger Seriously Injured at Unguarded BNSF Crossing


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 SchuetzeBoulder, 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 EasleyArkansas

Bob Pottroff’s work in railroad safety law is unmatched and he has been the source of great advice and phenomenal creativity.

Roger BrownJefferson 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 HardyLake Charles, Louisiana

Pottroff & Karlin LLC remains committed to serving our clients during this difficult time caused by COVID-19. Contact us with any questions.