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Train conductor sues rail line over January crash

Updated: November 13, 2012 10:40AM



A conductor injured in January after a three-train crash outside of Valparaiso is suing rail operator CSX, claiming the company was negligent in not preventing the accident.

According to the lawsuit, filed Friday in the U.S. District Court in Hammond, Benjamin M. Knipp was conducting one of the trains, which had stopped on the CSX line near County Road 600N, when it was struck by another CSX-operated train traveling 57 mph.

Cars from both trains were derailed, as were cars on a third train that hit debris from the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s website as of Monday is still investigating the crash, according to a spokesman, but Robert Thompson, one of the attorneys for Knipp, said it appears the crew on the second train did not see the stop signal that the first train obeyed.

Other possible options include faulty brakes or signal system, Thompson said, but no matter what, CSX had control over all three.

A representative for CSX said the company does not comment on ongoing litigation.

Thompson said his client had to take a few months off work due to injuries from the crash, and then was given a hard time about the injury.

He added that rail employees are not covered by Indiana’s worker’s compensation law.

Knipp asks for an unspecified amount of damages in the lawsuit.



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