Driver sues railroad after train reverses into tractor trailer

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Jul. 31, 2008, 4:52am

TEXARKANA, Ark. � While delivering "hog fuel" to the Domtar Paper Miller, Daniel Mercer drove his tractor-trailer to the dump area because the scales said it was overloaded.

After finishing dumping a portion of the load, Mercer was returning to the scales by driving his trailer along the "truck wood road" located inside the Domtar property.

Mercer approached the railroad crossing and noticed railway cars parked along the track. But when he attempted to cross the tracks, the train began to reverse and hit Mercer's tractor-trailer.

Alleging negligence, Mercer filed a personal injury suit against Domtar Industries and Kansas City Southern Railway Company on July 25 in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas.

Mercer asserts Kansas City Southern Railway Company is negligent through failure to keep a proper lookout, failure to have an appropriate signal and adequate warning signs, failure to provide a safe crossing, failure to warn of an unreasonably dangerous condition, failure to provide a flagman after dark, and for failing to maintain a proper speed.

Further, Mercers argues Kansas City is negligent in hiring and supervision of employees, and negligent operation of the crossing.

Mercer is seeking damages for medical expenses, physical impairment, pain and suffering, severe mental pain and anguish, loss of wages and of earning capacity, and damage to and loss of property.

Requesting a trial by jury, the plaintiff is represented by Texarkana attorney Nicholas H. Patton of the law firm Patton, Tidwell and Schroeder, LLP.

U.S. District Judge Harry F. Barnes is assigned to the litigation.
Case No. 4:2008cv04062

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