Gene Johnson Nov. 11, 2015, 1:37pm


A Pearl River County man is suing his employer after injuries allegedly sustained in a train accident with a tractor-trailer near Independence.

Dale LaFrance filed a lawsuit on June 10 against H.N. Hayden Trucking LLC, Houston Specialty Insurance Co., Orby Wilson, the National Railroad Passenger Corp. (Amtrak), the Illinois Central Railroad Co. and Diamond B Construction Co. in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, citing a violation of Federal Employer’s Liability Act.

On or about July 14, 2014, LaFrance, in his claim, said he suffered severe injuries to his neck, upper back, lower back and hips – as well as post-traumatic headaches and sleeping difficulties – during a crash with a tractor-trailer while aboard an Amtrak train en route from Chicago to New Orleans.

LaFrance, in his claim, said the trucker employed by H.N. Hayden Trucking was negligent, reckless and careless in causing the crash, and that Illinois Central Railroad Co. was negligent in failing to install properly placed railroad crossbuck signs, a stop sign and an advance warning sign. He also blamed Amtrak for his injuries when they failed, the lawsuit claims, for not providing a safe place to work as well as creating and permitting the damages to exist in the train’s path.

LaFrance, who seeking damages of more than $75,000 as well as court costs, general and equitable relief, and attorney’s fees, is being represented by New Orleans-based attorneys Blake G. Arata Jr., C. Perrin Rome III and W. Chad Stelly of Rome, Arata, Baxley and Stelly LLC in New Orleans.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana case number 2:15-cv-02017-CJB-JCW

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