The husband of a Rockford, Illinois woman who was killed when a Canadian National Railway Company train derailed in 2009 has settled his lawsuit for $22.5 Million. Their daughter, who was also in the vehicle, settled her case for $13.75 Million during jury selection.
Zoila Tellez was in her car with her husband, Jose Tellez and their pregnant daughter, waiting for a train to pass when it derailed and erupted into flames. 18 tankers derailed and the resulting explosion engulfed the Tellezes’ car in flames. As Mrs. Tellez fled from her car she was caught in the flames and severely burned. Mrs. Tellez died from her injuries and Mr. Tellez suffered severe burns, but he survived. Their daughter, who was six months pregnant, suffered injuries including the loss of her child. Mr. Tellez and his daughter were represented by two Chicago area law firms.
The plaintiffs alleged that the train derailed because the tracks had washed out due to heavy rains in the area (The NTSB factual report indicates that there were 4.2 inches of rain that day). The plaintiffs also contended that city authorities contacted railroad personnel 20 minutes before the derailment to report the washed out tracks due to flooding, but that the railroad employees failed to stop traffic on the tracks due to improper training.
According to the NTSB’s factual report, five other motorists and two firefighters were injured in this derailment.
The attorneys at Doran & Murphy have significant experience in handling train derailment cases. If you or a member of your family have been injured in a train derailment please call us at 1-800-374-2144 or contact us through email.