Lubbock, TX – Twenty six individuals who were injured or had relatives lost their lives when a freight train hit a veterans parade float at Midland 2 years back have settled their suit against Union Pacific, both parties said on Friday.
The attorney represented the families said the terms of the settlement are confidential. However, the attorney said he and his clients are fully satisfied with the resolution. The loved ones of 2 of the 4 veterans who lost their lives in the 2012 November accident were part of the settlement. Apart from the deaths, the accident had caused several injuries as well.
The attorney said the settlement amount is sufficient for giving the victims or their families comfort and security.
Jeff DeGraff, the spokesman representing Union Pacific, confirmed that the railroad has reached a settlement with the plaintiffs. However, he was not willing to give additional details about the deal. A trail that involves seventeen plaintiffs who aren’t part of the deal has been scheduled for 26th January.
Just prior to the accident, the flatbed truck filled with injured veterans and their wives had been inching across a rail track as the crossing gates started to lower. A freight train then born down on them, blaring its horn. Some of the individuals on the float managed to jump off just moments prior to the train crashed into the truck. The freight train was moving at a speed of above 60 mph, reports say. The veterans were then on the way to a feast in honor of them. The 4 killed in the accident had served in Afghanistan and Iraq, crash reports show.
A probe by the NTSB blamed the deadly accident on the parade organizers and city, pointing out a lack of sufficient safety planning. The claimants argued a slight warning from the railroad crossing lights as well as gates is the main cause.
The resolution came out of mediation ordered by the court, which occurred in Dallas early this month, according to the plaintiffs’ attorney. He said the deal still requires court approval. However, the attorney said he expects the court would approve the settlement without any difficulties.
All the 43 claimants have settled already with the float truck’s driver, Smith Industries, and the parade organizers. Smith Industries was the owner of the tractor trailer which was used as the float.