South Carolina family files wrongful death lawsuit

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A South Carolina family is suing the Department of Transportation and the railroad company for the 2011 death of their loved one. The woman died when the vehicle she was in was hit by a train. The family’s wrongful death claim blames the defendants for operating a dangerous crossing. The family maintains that they had prior knowledge of the dangerous conditions that existed at the railroad crossing but failed to correct them.

Authorities believe that the woman’s grandson attempted to drive around another vehicle that had stopped for the oncoming train. However, the family’s lawsuit stated that the vehicle actually made a sudden stop, forcing the woman’s grandson to swerve around the car to avoid an accident. They could not get the vehicle off the tracks and while her grandson was able to get out before the train struck it, his grandmother perished in the accident.

The family believes that people should have been warned about the hazardous conditions that existed and that the defendants violated laws that pertained to the required maintenance of the railroad, its construction and safety measures. The family’s attorney has stated that the area is dangerous and that accidents have become a problem ever since the railroad company increased their train speeds several years ago. He maintains that the track’s construction is to blame for the vehicle becoming stuck on the tracks.

When South Carolina families lose a loved one to a negligent act, they may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. It is important to remember that negligence has not been cited in this case, but the family felt that their family member died because of faulty construction and potentially hazardous conditions. A wrongful death claim could help the family members receive monetary compensation for the death of their loved one, which could help pay costs associated with funerals or even pain and suffering.

Source:, “Family sues railroad, state DOT after woman’s death in collision,” Gene Zaleski, Oct. 18, 2012


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