HolyCoast: Bizarre Lawsuit Over a Train Accident

Monday, January 02, 2012

Bizarre Lawsuit Over a Train Accident

Train vs. pedestrian accidents are not that uncommon.  There have been multiple incidents in Southern California in the past year, many of the suicides.

However, a case from Chicago is particularly interesting given that the dead man's estate is being sued by someone who was struck by his flying body:
Ruling in what it called a "tragically bizarre" case, an appeals court found that the estate of a man killed by a train while crossing the Edgebrook Metra station tracks can be held liable after a part of his body sent airborne by the collision struck and injured a bystander.

In 2008, Hiroyuki Joho, 18, was hurrying in pouring rain with an umbrella over his head, trying to catch an inbound Metra train due to arrive in about five minutes when he was struck by a southbound Amtrak train traveling more than 70 mph.

A large portion of his body was thrown about 100 feet on to the southbound platform, where it struck Gayane Zokhrabov, then 58, who was waiting to catch the 8:17 a.m. train to work. She was knocked to the ground, her leg and wrist broken and her shoulder injured.

A Cook County judge dismissed Zokhrabov's lawsuit against Joho's estate, finding that Joho could not have anticipated Zokhrabov's injuries.

A state appeals court, after noting that the case law involving "flying bodies" is sparse, has disagreed, ruling that "it was reasonably foreseeable" that the high-speed train would kill Joho and fling his body down the tracks toward a platform where people were waiting.

Leslie Rosen, who handled Zokhrabov's appeal, said that while the circumstances of the case were "very peculiar and gory and creepy," it ultimately was a straightforward negligence case, no different than if a train passenger had been injured after the engineer hit the brakes.

"If you do something as stupid as this guy did, you have to be responsible for what comes from it," she said.
Being in Cook County, not only can the dead be sued, but he'll be able to vote for Obama in the coming election.

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