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West Virginia teen killed by train, father files lawsuit

A lawsuit was filed on Jan. 30 against CSX Transportation, the Putnam Board of Education, and the City of Hurricane over the death of a teenage student that occurred on a stretch of tracks that is said to be a nuisance. CSX recently filed a motion to have the case moved to federal court from the Putnam Circuit Court because the parties are from different states.

The fatal accident in question occurred on Jan. 28, 2012, when the teenager was struck by a train in West Virginia. The original lawsuit claims that the boy was walking along the "customary path" close to the tracks when he was struck from behind by the CSX train. The teen couldn't hear the train because he was wearing headphones. The complaint says that the area was abnormally dangerous because it was used by school children, had limited sight distances, had high volumes of traffic, and had fast moving trains. The area in question doesn't have adequate barriers or warnings to deter people from walking along the railroad tracks, according to the complaint.

The teen's father says his son suffered physical pain, mental anguish and suffering, and emotional distress prior to dying because of the injuries. He alleges that CSX didn't emit an audible warning signal, failed in other safety measures, failed to use ordinary care to give a sufficient warning, and failed to maintain warning devices. He claims that the Putnam County Board of Education and the City of Hurricane had a duty to provide safe travel and safe access to the area.

CSX claims that the two other parties named as defendants in the lawsuit were fraudulently joined in the case, so their consent isn't required for removal of the case from the circuit court and placement in federal court.

Anyone who has lost a loved one to a tragic accident like this one might have the right to seek compensation for claims related to the death. While the loved one won't come back if compensation is awarded, the compensation might help to relieve some of the financial strain caused by the untimely death.

Source: The West Virginia Record, "CSX wants Putnam teen’s death case in federal court" Chris Dickerson, Apr. 03, 2014

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