Posted On: November 1, 2007 by Mark R. McKenna

Railroad pressured families into settlements without the benefit of legal counsel

A lawsuit in Arkansas against the Union Pacific Railroad claims company officials pressured families of victims injured or killed by trains to quickly settle for amounts lower than what they may have received with a lawyer's help.

An Associated Press story explains:

The suit, now being argued before a judge in Lafayette County, Arkansas, says officials came to families in emergency rooms or while they still grieved. Arkansas residents James Freeman, Robert Udell and Victor Vickers sued the company, asking for class-action status to involve anyone injured or lost a family member in crashes at crossings, on a rail or near one from 1992 to February 15, 2005.

Up to 300 families may have been pressed by Union Pacific to settle without the benefit of legal representation.

The tactics used by the Union Pacific, as alleged in the suit, is an example of the type of unfair bargaining that companies and insurers may use to force vulnerable families, suffering from the uncertainty caused by a tragedy, to agree to disadvantageous settlements. Companies and their insurers are never trying to look out for the best interests of the victims of negligence. Always speak to a knowledgable trial lawyer before discussing a personal injury, medical malpractice or wrongful death case with a defendant company's representatives or their insurers.

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