Godwin, Morris, Laurenzi & Bloomfield, P.C.

Wrongful death lawsuit filed in train accident death

By now, almost everyone in the country has heard about the tragic accident that claimed the life of a woman who was working on the movie "Midnight Rider." Tennessee residents might like to know about the newest turn in this tragic tale.

The parents of the 27-year-old woman who was killed when she was struck by a freight train and debris from a bed placed on the track for movie filming on Feb. 20 have opted to file a wrongful death lawsuit against several parties. Her parents claim that the negligent actions of these parties, including the movie's producer, production company, train company and others caused their daughter's horrific death.

One of the claims in the lawsuit deals with the fact that the production company didn't have CTX's permission to be on the location of the shoot. It also notes that there wasn't a medic or a railroad representative on site, as is the standard safety procedure for movie shoots that involve being on the railroad tracks.

The fatal train accident happened after two trains had already passed the location. The land owner, Rayonier, had stated that only two trains would pass that day, so once the two trains had passed crews thought it was safe to put the metal bed on the tracks for the shot.

Sadly, a third train that was as wide as the trestle came barreling through. The woman wasn't able to get out of the way in time and was struck by the train.

A criminal probe is being done by law enforcement officials who have jurisdiction over the area where the accident occurred. Other agencies are also investigating.

The family members of this woman have opted to seek compensation for her death. While it won't bring her back, it might help to minimize the financial impact her death had on the family. Anyone who has lost a loved one in a similar accident might opt to do the same thing.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "'Midnight Rider' producers face wrongful-death lawsuit" Richard Verrier, May. 21, 2014

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