$5.15 million settlement - train operator failed to look for children on train

The fence separating a primary school from the adjacent Burlington Northern and Sante Fe Railway railroad tracks in Richmond, California was broken, allowing young children to play on the railroad tracks. We represented a child who went through the hole in the fence and climbed onto a stationary flat bed car. When the train suddenly moved and picked up speed, the child fell off the train and the wheels ran over one of his legs, causing his leg to be amputated. Through extensive discovery prior to trial, we were able to show that children had been playing on the trains frequently because of the easy access through the broken fence. The fence should have been repaired and the train operators should have known children were playing on the train cars and removed them before suddenly moving the train.