Amtrak conductor sues trucking company after collision

Michelle Massey Jun. 11, 2010, 3:43am

An Amtrak engineer is suing a trucking company after allegedly suffering injuries in a collision with a truck.

The crash happened May 31 in Cade, when an Amtrak locomotive hit a semi-truck trying to cross the railroad tracks. The conductor of the train, Jonette D. Nagra, claims she severely injured her shoulders, back and neck in the collision. Nagra filed suit against The National Railroad Passenger Corp., also known as Amtrak, Gulf Coast Transport; Southern County Mutual Insurance Co.; Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Corp.; MCMC; and United Healthcare Services May 28 in federal court in New Orleans.

Nagra accuses Amtrak of negligence and violation of the Federal Employer's Liability Act for failing to provide a reasonably safe place to work and safe equipment to perform work, failing to properly warn of dangers and for permitting a dangerous condition to exist on crossings where its employees worked.

Gulf Coast Transport is accused of negligence for allowing its employee to operate truck-trailer in a negligent and reckless fashion by driving onto the crossing and into the path of the oncoming train. Gulf Coast is also accused of negligence for failing to yield the right of way, failing to take appropriate measures to avoid colliding with the train, failing to keep a proper lookout, failing to brake, failing to exercise care and keep the vehicle under control, failing to heed warning signs and audible signals and for failing to follow federal motor carrier guidelines.

Defendant Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co. is accused of negligence for failing to properly maintain and control its railroad crossing and tracks where the collision happened.

The lawsuit accuses United Healthcare Services of breach of contract and bad faith dealings for "intentional, arbitrary capricious denial of Plaintiff's legitimate on-the-job injury medical charges."

Nagra is seeking damages for physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, permanent disability, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, lost earnings and fringe benefits, medical expenses, future life care needs and medical expenses, mental pain, attorney's fees and penalties, interest and court costs.

Mandeville attorneys Carisa German-Oden, Joseph M. Miller and Benjamin B. Saunders of Davis, Saunders Firm are representing Nagra.

Case No. 2:10cv01612

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