Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) August 16, 2012 – A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against Union Pacific on behalf of a Chicago-area couple who were killed when a train derailed on July 4, causing a bridge to collapse.
The family of Burton and Zorine Lindner allege that the company failed to properly inspect and maintain the tracks. Union Pacific suggested that the derailment was caused by heat that created kinks in the rails. However, another derailment took place at the same location in 2009.
“This tragic incident caused two people to lose their lives. The law affords their loved ones a vehicle in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation for their loss,” said Robert Briskman, a Chicago wrongful death attorney.
Attorneys representing the couple’s family asked a judge to issue an order to stop work at the site, for fear that evidence would be destroyed. Judge William Maddux ordered that work be stopped for 36 hours, and a Union Pacific spokesperson said that all evidence had been preserved.
The derailment occurred at approximately 1:45 p.m. on July 4, when a train hauling coal jumped the track and caused an overpass to collapse, killing the Lindners who were driving south on Shermer Road in Northbrook, Illinois. The couple had planned to spend the holiday afternoon together.
Salvage crews found the couple’s bodies the next day, about 17 hours after they began to dig through the rubble, which included freight cars, spilled coal and the ruins of the collapsed overpass.
Burton Lindner was an attorney who had been in practice for 37 years and his wife, Zorine, was a social worker. The couple was known for their generosity and compassion. They both volunteered to assist in the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
At the request of officials in Glenview and Northbrook, Union Pacific representatives addressed a group of concerned community members at a meeting on July 16. The company said that an internal investigation had shown that the derailment was not the result of structural problems, but was a “freak accident” caused by excessive heat.
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