It is currently Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:15 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 293 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 16, 17, 18, 19, 20  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:08 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 726
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Ron Travis wrote:
Alan Walker,

So this information about what law this ruling was based on is not publically available at this time? I am not asking whether the legal theory was right or wrong, but merely asking what the legal theory was. All that I have heard is that CSX did not follow their own rules on responding to trespassers. But I think to a lot of people, it is not obvious why this makes CSX negligent regarding the accident.


The information is basically in the trial transcript. The attorneys will look at that and research any case law that they believe may be relevant to prove that the trial court erred. Basically, the CSX attorneys will try to find a reversible procedural error or attempt to find case law to support their argument that their employees were not negligent, despite failure to follow company rules. Plaintiff's attorneys will rebut any argument made by the CSX attorneys and attempt to support their rebuttals with applicable case law. The trial transcript is available to anyone willing to pay the court reporter fees-unlike other trial related matters, court reporter transcripts are copyrighted material.

Bottom line is that this trial has gone beyond the point that issues are easily understood by the common layperson. Now the attorneys are applying previous legal precedence to support their positions-the facts presented at the trial court case no longer matter significantly. This is the point at which people like Trainlawyer and Mr. Wilkins really have to start working-not that trial or other procedures aren't work but Appeals is a different animal than trial.

_________________
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:30 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
Posts: 1195
Location: Chicago USA
Were there cameras on the prior trains? Such video could have demonstrated there was nothing significant going on by the tracks.

There should have been testimony that actual company policy is based both on what is in writing and what supervisors tell you. Is there a law or case law somewhere that only a company's written policy dictates? If written policy is to report anyone even 10' outside the right of way but verbal instructions are not to waste special agents' time like that who is to say that the crew wasn't following the company policy? Sounds like that IS the company policy then.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:00 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 973
Location: Back in NE Ohio
My experience with reporting trespassers or suspicious activity along the RoW was that things got a lot more hysterical after 9/11/01. I had to stop a new conductor once from calling in to report a father and small child who were watching trains on a commuter platform on a weekend afternoon. I really thought that the railroads used 9/11 as an excuse to try and end active railfanning once and for all.

It's a real judgement call as to what might be trouble or suspicious. If I were a terrorist, I know how I'd disguise myself and my accomplices around a railroad - as a survey crew. Railroads constantly lease their RoW's to various utility companies for pipelines and fiber optic cables, and there are often survey crews out working near the tracks that never show up as things to look out for on crew train messages. They just are there. You see enough stuff like that, if they aren't right up against the tracks or in the "kill zone" you just let it go, and 99% of the time nothing ever comes of it. That is probably what happened that day with that film crew and the previous two trains that passed before the accident.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:07 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5251
Location: southeastern USA
Am I the only one that sees this as simply including anybody with deep pockets that could be theoretically involved in the suit? I understand that's SOP with liability cases.

_________________
"Techies never minded eating bits and jots of their work. They were grit and grease inside and out and could turn a pile of junk into a magical kingdom."

Andrea Hairston


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:03 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 726
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Dave wrote:
Am I the only one that sees this as simply including anybody with deep pockets that could be theoretically involved in the suit? I understand that's SOP with liability cases.


No. However, the dirty little secret in the film industry was that many directors and other managers actively ignore industry safety/OSHA standards. Until this case, they were able to simply make the attorneys go away by settling out of court. This case represents a watershed of sorts in that it is the first case where someone in authority got charged and convicted of a crime and did actual jail time. Lowlife director got one person killed, several others injured and placed others at risk of injury or death-all for a shot that could have been done in the safety of a soundstage with a projection screen and set construction.

Back when I was with TVRM, we did a shoot for a Warner Brothers feature that involved the main characters jumping from a bridge to avoid being hit by a train-at least that's what the final product looked like on film. In all actuality, the actors never set foot on the actual bridge at all-the "bridge" was a forty foot section built by the carpenters on the depot grounds. The actors jumped onto an airbag. The camera crew then got footage of the train running across the bridge and the actors swinging from a trapeze and landing in the creek. The editing crew spliced everything together and worked their magic. Reputable film producers don't do the crap that this guy did.

Quite frankly, railroads have a great deal of reason to worry not only about people on their property, but people doing nefarious things near their property. Some of the major railroads have found companies illegally setting up reading devices to pick up data from the tags that the railroads use to track equipment location. Such information, if it were to fall into the wrong hands, could be used to plan a low grade terrorist attack-the biggest concern being shipment of hazardous materials.

_________________
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:41 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:44 am
Posts: 1
When you a car driver you are responsible for own safety. Why he didn't stop at the railway crossing? You can't expect train to stop and be careful at every crossing. There are a lot of peoples who lost a life because they didn't pay attention.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:21 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:46 pm
Posts: 1903
Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
PaulWWoodring wrote:
If I were a terrorist, I know how I'd disguise myself and my accomplices around a railroad - as a survey crew.
When I was in the Army, I once ran opposing force units to train against the units going through some type of field exercise. I used to get creative with messing with them. I found the two things that would allow me to walk right past the barriers, guards and into HQ tents/trailer would be if I was either dressed as UPS delivery guy in the brown clothes (borrowed from my neighbor at the time), or in day-glow survery crew duds, carrying a transit tripod. In either case, nobody ever stopped me.
The funny thing was nobody ever thought to ask why a surveryor/UPS guy was wearing a MILES 'laser tag' vest like everyone else, but that's another topic for a different type of forum...

_________________
Lee Bishop


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:47 am 

Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:17 pm
Posts: 139
What I find really sad about jury awards, is they think everyone has deep pockets and insurance will cover it. Sadly, they never think that the insurance companies will recover their cost, by raising everyone's rates.

Then when their rates go up, they will cry the loudest.

Though, even a judge with the least bid of common sense should have ruled other wise.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:09 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 726
Location: Tucson, Arizona
AlcoC420 wrote:
What I find really sad about jury awards, is they think everyone has deep pockets and insurance will cover it. Sadly, they never think that the insurance companies will recover their cost, by raising everyone's rates.

Then when their rates go up, they will cry the loudest.

Though, even a judge with the least bid of common sense should have ruled other wise.


In most civil cases, the judge has limited authority. Their job is to apply the law based upon precedence of case law and the statute. Bottom line is that CSX was unsuccessful at defending their case at trial level. I don't know what the practice for estimating damages is in Georgia, but Court of Appeals probably won't overturn the jury award unless CSX can prove reversible error or that the sum awarded is excessive.

_________________
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:37 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
Posts: 1195
Location: Chicago USA
Here would be my suggestion as regards tort reform. I don't seek to limit awards when a company knowingly does bad things. It takes a large punitive award to correct that kind of behavior. What I want to address is the notion that something bad happened and SOMEONE ought to pay so let's soak the one party that has deep pockets which seems to be the case here.

My idea is this. In a criminal case, the defendant can select a bench trial over a jury trial. Not sure how it works in civil litigation but I suppose that both parties would have to agree. I would make it the law that the defendant has the exclusive right to take that option. The thinking is that a judge is less apt to be swayed by emotion. Maybe not but I think it would help a great deal.

A question about the case at hand: Was there any trespassing visible to prior trains? Because if not then I still don't get it. What were they supposed to report?

Any idea why CSX turned down the shoot? Did the production say we want to do this and this and CSX just flat out turned them down over and over? Or did they respond with a cost estimate like it's going to cost so much for special agents, MoW people to make sure you don't hurt our tracks, and so much for delaying a couple of trains? And the production said no we don't have that in our budget? Bearing in mind the train hitting the bed was not in the script. So it would have simply been some occupancy of the track, get the shots, and they're done. May not even have caused any delays if they can clear the track for any trains coming through. Obviously I support CSX to simply say no as it is their track. But it doesn't seem like it would have been a big deal to carry out.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:08 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
Posts: 1438
Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
filmteknik wrote:
Any idea why CSX turned down the shoot? Did the production say we want to do this and this and CSX just flat out turned them down over and over?
CSX produced correspondence that flatly turned them down and suggested that they find a short line railroad instead.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2091
Location: Northern Illinois
JimBoylan wrote:
filmteknik wrote:
Any idea why CSX turned down the shoot? Did the production say we want to do this and this and CSX just flat out turned them down over and over?
CSX produced correspondence that flatly turned them down and suggested that they find a short line railroad instead.


Part of the problem is they don't teach English here anymore. It seems the film company could not find the word NO in this statement: "we cannot support your request to be on our property".

_________________
Dennis Storzek


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:16 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 726
Location: Tucson, Arizona
filmteknik wrote:

A question about the case at hand: Was there any trespassing visible to prior trains? Because if not then I still don't get it. What were they supposed to report?



That's pretty much the whole matter of CSX's involvement in the case. CSX had the communications with the film production company prior to the date of the incident and informed the company that they would not receive permission to use the bridge. One question is what duty did CSX have to enforce their property rights, given the previous communications which clearly indicated the production company's desire to use the bridge. CSX would have a clear defense if the right of way were completely fenced and the fencing maintained in good repair.

Link to CSX e-mail communications:
https://dms.ntsb.gov/public/57000-57499 ... 569449.pdf

In legal issues, specific language matters. CSX did not explicitly state that the company did not have permission to enter CSX property. Had such a statement been included in one of the communications, the jury might have been more receptive to CSX's argument.

As for jury trials, parties almost always have the right to waive trial by jury. In some states (such as Arizona), the parties have a legal obligation to minimize court costs. That requirement encourages litigants to either resolve the matter outside of court or waive the right to a jury trial, as that adds fees and per diem expenses. Here, parties also have a duty to accept service and a responsibility to minimize costs. That means that if a party decides to attempt to evade service, the prevailing party will receive the service costs as part of the award.

_________________
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:41 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 973
Location: Back in NE Ohio
This incident, along with the fact that I've had to sign waivers two weeks in a row to attend events at live steam tracks in Ohio, suggests to me that perhaps one of the things that someone far more qualified than this non-attorney, non-paid spokesperson could develop is a workshop presentation on the "implications of the Midnight Rider vs. CSX trespassing case for tourist, heritage railroads and railroad museums". Could be a well-attended session for the upcoming HeritageRail Alliance Conference. Also, a PowerPoint or video version of it might be helpful for those with concerns for their own operation of whatever size who cannot attend.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:05 am 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1214
PaulWWoodring wrote:
This incident, along with the fact that I've had to sign waivers two weeks in a row to attend events at live steam tracks in Ohio, suggests to me that perhaps one of the things that someone far more qualified than this non-attorney, non-paid spokesperson could develop is a workshop presentation on the "implications of the Midnight Rider vs. CSX trespassing case for tourist, heritage railroads and railroad museums". Could be a well-attended session for the upcoming HeritageRail Alliance Conference. Also, a PowerPoint or video version of it might be helpful for those with concerns for their own operation of whatever size who cannot attend.


I think it should start out by explaining why CSX lost the civil suit since this point seems to have confounded most people’s common sense. I see two points that raise a lot of unanswered questions:

1) Withholding an emergency application of brakes because it might derail the train.

2) Giving tacit approval to trespassers by seeing them and not removing them.

Item #1 is interesting because it seems to conflict with the purpose of braking, and it raises the question of how one makes the decision since any emergency application might cause a derailment.

Item #2 is interesting because a landowner is owed the right to be free of trespassers and it seems counterintuitive to expect a trespasser to be owed the duty of landowners to protect their safety while trespassing.


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 293 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 16, 17, 18, 19, 20  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], Richard Stratford, Yahoo [Bot] and 47 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: