The grandfather of a young woman who suffered severe and permanent brain damage when her mother’s vehicle was struck by a train has won his bid for a new trial in South Carolina.
In Stephens v. CSX Transportation, plaintiff sued the railroad company and the state department of transportation, alleging the railroad company was negligent in failing to sound the train’s horn far enough in advance of the crossing and for failure to remove trees and other vegetation that obstructed the driver’s view of the track. With respect to the state department of transportation, he alleged there was a negligent failure to properly inspect the railroad crossing, and further that stop signs and the stop line were installed at improper locations.
Jurors in the first trial found in favor of defendants, and the appellate court affirmed that judgment. However, the South Carolina Supreme Court reversed, finding portions of the judge’s instructions to jurors were erroneous and adversely affected plaintiff. Continue reading →