Crime pays well

Full story: Lebanon Daily News
With a gaggle of state laws long overdue for changing, it's difficult to single one out for special consideration. Full Story
Robert Pines

Sullivan, MO

#1 Apr 8, 2008
What, the writer of this jury tampering hogwash too ashamed to put their name on the dribble?

If you would write about the complete lack of safety deterrants by the low life railroads you would be closer to the story.

Now clown, go get the MILLIONS the railroads will steal off a simple overpass which THEY are the problem.
Randolph Resor

Pleasanton, CA

#2 Apr 16, 2008
This case falls in the category of sad-but-true. I've worked in the railroad industry for many years, most recently as a consultant, and as it happens, I was an expert witness in a very similar case in Princeton, NJ. In this case, three young gentlemen, all Princeton students, became drunk, and walking back to their lodgings from the bar, passed the Princeton railroad station. At the platform was the single-car electric train that shuttles back and forth to Princeton Junction, three miles away (aka "The Dinky"). These boys conceived the idea of "stealing the train and taking it to New York", one said later.
Well, the crew had left the doors locked, and the boys couldn't get in. So one decided to climb on the roof. One of the car's pantographs was on the catenary wire, so that the car's air compressor and heat would still function while it was laid up in the platform. The boy grabbed the pantograph, and was shocked with 11,000 volts of electricity. He lost both legs and an arm.
Despite my testimony that it is very common to leave electric multiple-unit passenger cars parked in station platforms in this manner, the jury found New Jersey Transit 51% liable for the boy's injuries and ordered it to pay him 51% of $10 million. I don't know how the case was disposed of on appeal.
Now this was a college-age man, not a child. While I'm sorry his injuries happened, I do believe in individual responsibility. I don't believe people who commit such egregiously reckless acts should have any standing to sue.

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