Stuart & Branigin case granted partial summary judgment in favor of Norfolk Southern Railway Company.

On March 15, 2017, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana granted partial summary judgment in favor of Norfolk Southern Railway Company in a wrongful death grade crossing accident case.  The driver drove his car into the path of a Norfolk Southern train at a railroad grade crossing in Montpelier, Indiana.  The plaintiff’s wife and infant son were rear seat passengers, and died at the scene.  The plaintiff claimed that the warning devices at the crossing were not adequate, that there should have been pavement markings on the roadway in advance of the crossing, and that the railroad should have closed the crossing or petitioned the State to have the crossing closed.  The plaintiff also claimed that the driver’s view at the crossing was obstructed and that Norfolk Southern failed to properly sound the horn, operated the train at an excessive speed, and failed to appropriately stop or slow the train.  The district court granted summary judgment on each of these claims.  The district court also denied the plaintiff’s cross motion for summary judgment on his claim that the flashing light signals at the crossing were not working at the time of the accident and on the amount of his economic damages.

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