Lawsuits Filed In Railroad Crash Near West Fork

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WASHINGTON COUNTY (KFSM) - Two lawsuits were filed against the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad after the crash on Oct. 16 that left 44 people injured, according to court documents.

The lawsuits were filed in Washington County on Oct. 27 on behalf of Margaret K. Harkins, of Lowell, and Corliss Johnson, of Rogers, court documents state. Both were riding the excursion train when the crash occurred, and their lawsuits state that the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad was negligent in protecting its passengers during the trip.

Both lawsuits were filed by Sean Keith of Rogers and his co-counsel Tom Wagstaff of Kansas City. Corliss' lawsuit will be heard before Judge Joanna Taylor, and Harkins' lawsuit will be heard before Judge Mark Lindsay, court records state.

The lawsuits state that both Harkins and Corliss paid $107 to ride the excursion train from Springdale to Van Buren, and the train stalled due to improperly maintained tracks, a lack of sand in the hopper and leaves on the tracks, according to court documents.

"Defendant knew or should have known the condition of its tracks, train and other equipment," the lawsuits state.

An assisting engine was sent to help the stalled train, and the lawsuits state that the engineer of that train failed to keep a "careful and/or constant lookout."

Another complaint mentioned in the lawsuits is the chairs on the excursion train that passengers sit in were not securely fastened to the floor, according to the lawsuit.

As a result of the crash, Harkins sustained cuts and an injury to her foot, court documents state. During the crash, Corliss lost consciousness and sustained a concussion, cuts and bruises, according to court documents.

No hearing has been scheduled for either lawsuit yet, according to court records.

To see the individual lawsuits, click here and here. 


  • Objectivefodder

    No surprises here. The medical bills and litigation will be in the millions. Bankruptcy predicted. The lawyers will be feeding for some time. I’m sorry the small company made a mistake. This will cost them permanently.

  • Arnold fudpucker

    No surprise that the lawyer sharks are circling. What ever happened to the tort reform idea? Too many lawyers in politics I fear.

  • Ralph

    When an accident happens, the person/company responsible for the accident should pay for it, right? Or should the victims eat the bill?

  • Get Real

    It didn’t take long for the slip and fall ambulance chasers to crawl out from under their rock. Compensation for medical expenses and lost wages is fair, but chances are these attorneys and their plaintiffs will seek more than they would make in 10 lifetimes. We need loser pays tort reform, but with attorneys making up the majority of the legislature, and all of the judges, don’t look for it any time soon.

  • The "Real" Elaphas

    Only in America could someone who got struck by lightening sue God. How else do moochers get rich? Hard work has been replaced by the lawsuit.

  • Velda

    Yes pay the medical bills+ refund the ticket price and like $5000 pain and suffering for any legit injuries, but this will turn into a crazy circus and things like consortium and back and neck pain and the crash causing fibromyalgia.

Comments are closed.

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