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Thread started 18 Jul 2017 (Tuesday) 15:07
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Trespassing camera assistant killed on train tracks, CSX to pay big.

 
Perfectly ­ Frank
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Joined Oct 2010
Jul 18, 2017 15:07 |  #1

Should CSX have to pay? I don't think so. But the jurors decided otherwise. How say you?

http://deadline.com ...x-civil-trial-1202129827/ (external link)


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joeseph
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Jul 19, 2017 03:47 |  #2

I get the feeling we don't know the whole story, either way it's sad when people lose their lives when actions or inactions could have changed the outcome.


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Jul 19, 2017 05:12 |  #3

Pretty in depth article.

Sounds like CSX was caught up in what was pretty clearly negligence on the part of the film maker and producer etc.


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chevyzen
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Jul 19, 2017 06:01 |  #4

anytime there is a senseless death, and someone involved has money, they're going to pay. Especially with a jury, because despite how some people act, most people still have hearts and emotions and they aren't going to tell a grieving family, "oh, so sad, see you later" when they can make someone "pay" even when it's a difficult case such as this. and it is complicated. apparently for the previous 2 days their trains passed thru and saw them filming there, well they should have at least been more aware or followed their own protocol. On the other hand, a train is not a passenger car. The average person knows jack about them and the physics behind them and it's best they just stay out of their way. It's hard to expect them to act like every other form of transportation. Oh, just slow down a bit, or why didn't they stop?

on the other hand, maybe they should have sent a railroad official after the 1st day, if not for sure by the 2nd when you know something is going on. You don't keep sending trains over a bridge at 57 MPH without sending someone, when you know already something is happening on or near the tracks that shouldn't be. I'd agree they share in some of the responsibility. I'd be less likely to assign any blame had this occurred on the 1st day, to the RR company.




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PhotosGuy
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Jul 19, 2017 08:43 |  #5

I'll be surprised if they don't appeal this.


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chevyzen
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Jul 20, 2017 07:49 |  #6

certainly. It's a given they'll appeal this until they win or run out of courts to hear their appeal.




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gjl711
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Jul 20, 2017 08:05 |  #7

PhotosGuy wrote in post #18405763 (external link)
I'll be surprised if they don't appeal this.

Or settle. Here, have $500k and go away. I'm surprised that they found Sarah had no fault. I have to figure that someone standing next to tracks should be looking out for a train. That's just plain stupid. If they wanted to make sure the family got something find Sarah 49% responsible and reach into the deep pockets for the rest.


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chevyzen
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Jul 20, 2017 08:10 as a reply to gjl711's post |  #8

I think the producer and the company she was working under had told everyone they had permission to be there, which means the train traffic would have been stopped while they shot on the bridge. Lots of people work around lots of potentially dangerous conditions everyday and their employers make sure certain safety conditions are met. In this case the employer lied to them, probably why she was not found at fault.




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Perfectly ­ Frank
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Jul 20, 2017 17:32 |  #9

Jurors found that location manager Charley Baxter also had zero liability

I would think of all people - the location manager would know that no filming permit was issued.
Yet zero liability?


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Mr_ipsum
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Aug 03, 2017 09:25 |  #10

As a railroad conductor by trade myself I guess I might be slightly biased in my opinions about this matter. But I do think the jury got this one wrong. It must be human nature to point blame to the larger entity in the matter whether they are responsible or not.

My railroad regularly deals with movie companies shooting on or near the ROW (right of way, railroad property) and ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS has someone on-site to provide protection for the trains, and then the people. While never doing it for a movie or TV shoot, I have done this work for outside contractors like bridge inspectors, tree-cutters and general construction. It is highly regulated and there is a bunch of training and paperwork and planning that goes into this.

Many times these outsiders that come onto railroad property don't understand the risks associated with railroads, they just don't realize that a train cannot stop like a car does or how incredibly quiet locomotives are. I currently train new hire railroad conductors for my company and one of the things I do is take them to a location where there is a blind curve on what just happens to be one of the busiest segments of track in the country. We stand on the inside of the curve about 25 feet from the tracks. I go on talking about some stuff to them regarding the railroad, but I'm just stalling for time. I'm waiting for a train to come zipping by while they're listening to me. Sure enough, in a few minutes a train comes by and some guys are shocked because they never heard the train coming at all, and all of a sudden there is a train less than 150 feet away coming at them at 45 MPH. Only then do they realize how quiet trains are even the diesel locomotives, particularly if there are no grade crossings nearby where they are sounding the engine horn.

The other thing that didn't seem right to me in this case was that the railroad was responsible because the previous trains did not call in movie crew near the ROW. That seems to be the point at issue as to why the railroad was found liable in this case. However, there are always people near the railroad tracks especially in urban or suburban areas. But I only call in to dispatch people who are on railroad property. The railroad property line extends sometime 25 to 40 feet from the edge of the rail. So many times someone can be standing near the tracks, but not on railroad property, this is not a crime. If this movie crew was technically on non-railroad property when those previous trains went by, I would not have called it in either even if they were only 40 feet away from the rails. Obviously this movie crew was not as close to the tracks when the previous trains went by as they were when they were struck, because if they were, the previous trains would have struck them too.

The other point is that the train did not apply the brakes until just before striking the film crew. People sometimes do not realize how dangerous it can be to dump the train (put the brakes into emergency). Particularly a freight train carrying hazardous material. At that close range, the brakes will make ZERO difference in the severity of the impact to the people on the tracks. But it can greatly increase the chances of a derailment or broken coupler, which if hauling hazmat cargo could cause loss of life to those nearby in the community.

However, because of litigations like this one locomotive engineers sometime have to make tough decisions. For instance... A train sees a car up ahead that looks like it might go around railroad crossing gates. There is a chance they will go through the gates and clear the other side before the train comes. There is also a chance that the car will get stuck on the crossing and not be able to get off the tracks in time. At the time the locomotive engineer has to decide whether to put the train in emergency. While putting the emergency brakes on might not even slow the train down enough to make a difference in whether the train hit the car anyway. However by putting the emergency brakes on he could greatly increase the chances of a derailment or a broken coupler, which if he his carrying propane, or chlorine gas, could cause severe loss of life for himself and others nearby. On top of all this, there is the chance that if he doesn't apply the emergency brakes because hitting the car is inevitable he could be found liable for negligence by an incompetent jury for not applying the emergency brakes. It is really a damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario.

While I feel bad for the woman who lost her life, I think the real person to blame is the production company since they went onto the tracks knowing that they did not have permission to be there. I sympathize with the train crew because given the circumstances of what they went through, I probably would have made the same decisions they did.

My $0.02


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Mr_ipsum
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Aug 03, 2017 10:11 |  #11

chevyzen wrote in post #18405631 (external link)
You don't keep sending trains over a bridge at 57 MPH without sending someone, when you know already something is happening on or near the tracks that shouldn't be. I'd agree they share in some of the responsibility. I'd be less likely to assign any blame had this occurred on the 1st day, to the RR company.

Problem is that on first day two trains came by the area. The film crew knew that these two trains came by and did not setup on the tracks until after they cleared. So those 2 trains would not have seen the film crew on the tracks when they came by. Sure the film crew may have been near the tracks, but it is totally possible to be near the tracks and not be on railroad property. If these people are not on railroad property nothing can be done to remove them, except by the owner of the property they are on. So the train crew most likely did not report them not because they didn't see them, but because the film crew was not on railroad property at the time they passed.

Consider also that at least some in the film crew knew that they did not have permission to be there. It is likely that the film crew stayed back far enough from the tracks so as not to draw any suspicion by the passing trains and then once the trains are out of the area, they moved closer to the tracks.

So to say that the railroad should have sent someone on the second day assumes that the railroad knew people were on the tracks the first day. Which from the evidence was not the case, because as I said in my previous post, if the film crew was as close to the tracks when they got struck as when the first two trains came along, then they would have been struck by those first two trains. The fact that the first two trains did not strike them means that they were at least farther away from the tracks then they were when they were struck by the third train passing on the 2nd day.

Sure you can say that the train crew should have reported it anyway since there was a chance that the film crew would go closer to the tracks. But, so many people hang out near train tracks while not being on railroad property, that railroad police would be chasing people 24/7 for which they have no real power to remove, if they are not on railroad property.


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Alveric
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Canada
Aug 03, 2017 11:03 as a reply to Mr_ipsum's post |  #12

FWIW, I don't think you're biased at all. You are objective. Unfortunately, objectivity and even truth itself have no more weight anymore. It's all based on feelings, arrant vindictiveness and rapaciousness, and unwillingness to take responsibility for one's actions. Added to that an 'speak not ill of the dead' taken to extremes—might or might not be the case in this, er, case, but what if it was solely the woman's fault? Not paying attention, a momentary lapse of distraction, or what have you...

Can't help but think of people walking engrossed completely on their phones (external link). However, heaven forbid you almost hit them, because it's all YOUR fault for not paying attention (!!).


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chevyzen
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Joined Nov 2012
Aug 13, 2017 13:46 as a reply to Alveric's post |  #13

they don't point to the train, rather set equipment that was sent t flying into her that knocked into the train. she was hardly some texting zombie working her way down the tracks. Solely the woman's fault? I guess if that's your opinion it's your opinion, but I wonder if you even followed the case? thousands, tens of thousands, millions of people work in potentially dangerous conditions every day and they do so because others were to have secured the the work place or even their homes.

and it was the testimony of the previous conductors that they saw people there, they always see people there. It doesn't say how close, what they were doing or anything more in the story so we're both guessing. from the sounds of it there was a fair amount of equipment and given the fact the producers applied for permission and were denied that permission to shoot. I'm guessing these didn't look like people just milling about around the tracks. and the bridge hardly looks like a popular spot to see people just standing around. But maybe.

Anyway, they were found completely at fault, what were they assigned? 30 something % the producers were not let off with no blame, as they were very wrong as well.




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Trespassing camera assistant killed on train tracks, CSX to pay big.
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