Film crew struck by CSX train in Wayne County, Ga.

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Re: Film crew struck by CSX train in Wayne County, Ga.

Postby Greg Moore » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:51 pm

Show of hands how many here were on the jury or heard/read the entire testimony?

The reason I ask is because it's very easy to jump to what are often erroneous conclusions regarding court cases because headlines are written to attract attention and make the article is read. The classic case is the "Florida woman who sued McDonald's over hot coffee". It sounds ridiculous until you learn a lot of the details. Then it makes a lot more sense. (and the final award was a lot less than what was originally reported.)

For example, if I were a lawyer (and I'm not) and I was suing, I would argue that the fact that CSX was AWARE that the film crew had attempted to obtain permission suggests the company should have been extra suspicious and been more likely to follow their own rules about reporting.

i.e. if I tell you multiple times I want to sleep in your living room and you say no, you should be a little less than surprised if suddenly you find me asleep in your living room. Yes, it's my fault for sleeping there. BUT the fact that I'm aware does change things.

That said, that's one possible line of attack. There might be others. Case law might also apply.

Generally cases like this are decided on a proportional basis, i.e, "Foo is 80% responsible, Bar 15% and Baz 5%". Total damages are $100 Million, so Foo will pay $80 million, Bar, $15M, and Baz $5M.

That said, yes, it's entirely possible that the plaintiffs simply did a good job of bamboozling the jury.

My guess, CSX will appeal and the award greatly reduced, but not completely eliminated.

But my guess is, it's a bit more complex and nuanced then we're reading in the newspapers and here.
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Re: Film crew struck by CSX train in Wayne County, Ga.

Postby mmi16 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:22 pm

All because a film crew was trying to save a movie prop bed - instead of themselves. Shows just how much they personally valued their own lives. A 12 man crew (that is what I heard, I could be mistaken) felt saving a several hundred dollar bed was the most important thing they had to do when the train approached. Collectively, they valued their lives at $100 or less.
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Re: Film crew struck by CSX train in Wayne County, Ga.

Postby Gadfly » Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:13 pm

For example, if I were a lawyer (and I'm not) and I was suing, I would argue that the fact that CSX was AWARE that the film crew had attempted to obtain permission suggests the company should have been extra suspicious and been more likely to follow their own rules about reporting. (QUOTE)

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. "Subjective evidence subject to interpretation and opinion". Not used as evidence in a court. The railroad is NOT responsible for what someone decides to do AFTER an action (namely being denied permission to occupy property or RoW.) You cannot make a party responsible for what others might do as the result of a negative action of the other party. Additionally, WHERE did the film crew GO to receive this potential permission? Local Yard office? Division HQ? Railroad's main HQ? Next, any train crew that passed thru the area would likely not even be aware of any transactions made at the above mentioned locations, and would not know the main was fouled. And due to the adjacent business where people could've been encountered anyway (lawfully engaged in their own property and business), they couldn't distinquish that, either. Tradition holds that permission would normally be DENIED for unaccompanied personnel to foul track, RoW, or any company properties. If permission were to be granted, likely there would've been a company flagman (as in the case of civilian construction) assigned with radio to prevent conflict. There is no way for the company to assume, speculate, guess, or otherwise, anticipate flagrant trespassers. Had it been ME making the decision, I, too, would have denied permission to be on company property. Again, neither I or anyone else reads minds! :( This "award" is BULL**** and should be reversed on appeal.! :(
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Re: Film crew struck by CSX train in Wayne County, Ga.

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:29 pm

Mr. Gadfly, I wholly agree with your reasoning. In Judge Gil's court of law, the injured parties should not get a dime from CSX. If the Production Company's insurance is "tapped out", the girl should have thought twice about hiring on with them as a PA.

That's my view, but the Court of Public Opinion will overrule that. "This young girl with her life ahead of her wanted to start in the entertainment industry as a "lower than 'Whale Sh!t at the Bottom of the Ocean' PA for some bottom feeding production outfit and she gave her life to follow her dream". That is how the Plaintiffs will argue at Appeal - and the Appellate Justices will be sobbing thinking.of their own families.

Hopefully Rayonier, with their deep pockets will also, on the strength that one of their Guards was unconcerned about the trespass, will also have to pony up, but it was Chessie who caused the fatal injury.

I fear the latter will rule.
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Re: Film crew struck by CSX train in Wayne County, Ga.

Postby Gadfly » Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:33 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Mr. Gadfly, I wholly agree with your reasoning. In Judge Gil's court of law, the injured parties should not get a dime from CSX. If the Production Company's insurance is "tapped out", the girl should have thought twice about hiring on with them as a PA.

That's my view, but the Court of Public Opinion will overrule that. "This young girl with her life ahead of her wanted to start in the entertainment industry as a "lower than 'Whale Sh!t at the Bottom of the Ocean' PA for some bottom feeding production outfit and she gave her life to follow her dream". That is how the Plaintiffs will argue at Appeal - and the Appellate Justices will be sobbing thinking.of their own families.

Hopefully Rayonier, with their deep pockets will also, on the strength that one of their Guards was unconcerned about the trespass, will also have to pony up, but it was Chessie who caused the fatal injury.

I fear the latter will rule.


Chessie caused nothing! If this were true then EVERY person injured because he ignored crossing gates/flashing light, got $$$, then the railroads would be bankrupt. Most of those are usually settled, not because the railroad is "guilty", but because the small award exceeds the amount otherwise exhausted in protracted court. Me, I'd be like D W Brosnan. I'd say, "The hell with you, I'll be damned if I'll pay you a red cent"! :P

The problem is, we have become a nation that expects something FROM somebody, GIVES nothing back. We feel we are "OWED" something. Due to certain political factions, we want gub'mint to GIVE us something for OUR OWN MISTAKES. :( Nothing is "MY" fault; it is someone ELSE that done it! :-D

The bottom line is, this line of thinking is MORALLY BANKRUPT, and simply WRONG!!!!!!! We as a nation MUST make ourselves take responsibility for our own mistakes and not expect to be rewarded for our own errors.

I also feel this particular situation is due to a kind of romantic disconnect with the public and railroads. We do not take railroads seriously! We've been taught that it is a "toy" around the Christmas tree, a movie about Polar Express, not something commercial, but something that is frivilous and for our own enjoyment--not to be taken seriously! :( We ignore crossing gates, play on tracks and trestles, not once thinking that "this thing can hurt me"! Then when it DOES, "BWAHHHHHHHHHHHHH! THAT MEAN OLE RAY-WOAD JUMPED OF THE TRACKS & CHASED ME DOWN SO IT COULD RUN OVER ME!!!!!! OH BOO HOO!!! I WANT MONEY!!!!!! SNIFF SNIVEL!!!!!!" The sum-b****es shouldn't get a dime!!! They MADE their bed, now LIE in it!!!!

I understand that may sound cruel and heartless. I understand the family is grieving. I would be devastated if I lost my daughter. If I should (Heaven forbid), I hope it isn't THIS way. As a retired railroad man, I taught her to stay away from tracks and RoW, and to cross safely. Its just NOT CSX's place to be punished this way!
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Re: Film crew struck by CSX train in Wayne County, Ga.

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:43 pm

Likely as good a place as any to place this material.

A now concluded TV series, "Vice Principals", has scenes shot with actors walking about CSX property somewhere in South Carolina. In one scene with the actors standing inside the tracks, there was a sign clearly visible stating "CSX Property No Trespassing".

Now I highly doubt if the production company, HBO Entertainment, making a series aired on HoBO is not about to be there without express permission and with the filming flagged by Rules Qualified CSX employees.

But thinking of the tragedy being discussed here made me wonder.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Film crew struck by CSX train in Wayne County, Ga.

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:17 pm

One problem is probably folks all over the place do not like the railroad and it could be any railroad. Blocked crossings, derailments, tie ups, noise and a lot more factors. They often forget about the property taxes the railroads pay, the people they employ and pay a decent wage and other benefits they provide. The only look at the negatives and I suppose judges look at negatives although they might be a little bit more reasonable here. I doubt if it is over yet.
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Re: Film crew struck by CSX train in Wayne County, Ga.

Postby Matt Langworthy » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:13 pm

Here's the puzzler for me: after CSX refused access to their property, why didn't the film crew seek out another RR for the dream sequence? Shortline and regional RRs have been involved in a number of well-known films through the years. I am pretty sure the film crew could have found a RR that was willing to accommodate them. A shortline or regional RR would also have the added advantage of having locomotives that looked like they belong to Gregg Allman's heyday. Widecabs technically existed in 1973, but they certainly weren't in use in on southern RRs. A couple of Geeps pulling a string of mixed freight would have looked alot more realistic than a modern stack train and (more importantly) the RR's employees could have coordinated with the filming. This whole tragedy could have been avoided with a modicum of effort on the part of the film crew.
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Re: Film crew struck by CSX train in Wayne County, Ga.

Postby mmi16 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:20 pm

Matt Langworthy wrote:Here's the puzzler for me: after CSX refused access to their property, why didn't the film crew seek out another RR for the dream sequence? Shortline and regional RRs have been involved in a number of well-known films through the years. I am pretty sure the film crew could have found a RR that was willing to accommodate them. A shortline or regional RR would also have the added advantage of having locomotives that looked like they belong to Gregg Allman's heyday. Widecabs technically existed in 1973, but they certainly weren't in use in on southern RRs. A couple of Geeps pulling a string of mixed freight would have looked alot more realistic than a modern stack train and (more importantly) the RR's employees could have coordinated with the filming. This whole tragedy could have been avoided with a modicum of effort on the part of the film crew.

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Re: Film crew struck by CSX train in Wayne County, Ga.

Postby Matt Langworthy » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:34 pm

Yeah, you're right- the director's ego and/or the producer's ego didn't want to consider any alternatives. It is also possible they just wanted to do the scene for free and couldn't find a RR willing to waive their fees.
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Re: Film crew struck by CSX train in Wayne County, Ga.

Postby JimBoylan » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:00 pm

CSX's rejection of the movie company's request included a suggestion to find a short line railroad.
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