Railroad Crossing Lawsuit Results in $10M Verdict for Wrongful Death

An Oklahoma jury awarded $14.8 million to the family of a man who was killed when a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Company (BNSF) train struck his vehicle at a railroad crossing, which the lawsuit alleged was unnecessarily dangerous.  

The wrongful death lawsuit was brought by the family of Jeffery Nye, who died in a railroad crossing accident on December 29, 2008. While Nye’s Jeep was crossing the train tracks, a BNSF train struck the vehicle of the high school science teacher and football coach.

According to allegations raised in the railroad crossing lawsuit, the location was unreasonably dangerous and had inadequate safety equipment. The family presented evidence that indicated the crossing was overgrown with vegetation that could have blocked Nye’s vision. They also noted that crossing should have had flashing safety lights and that the train crew failed to blow their horn at the crossing, which was required.

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BNSF maintained that the train did blow its horn and argued that it was not required to have flashing lights at that particular gravel road crossing.

Following trial before a Pnontoc County District Court jury in Oklahoma, BNSF was found to be 65% responsible for the accident and Nye’s death, awarding $14,813,00 in damages. However, the jury also determined that Nye was 35% responsible for his own death, which means that BNSF only has to pay about $9.6 million of the damages awarded.

BNSF expressed condolences to the family, but indicated that it does not believe the verdict was accurate due to key evidence that the company claims was ignored. The company also noted that government traffic authorities determine which safety features are placed at railroad crossings and said that it will investigate its legal options.


  • StaceyOctober 11, 2021 at 7:35 am

    It is nice to see a family get some sort of compensation for the wrongful death of the loved one. More of this needs to happen in the world

  • jeffFebruary 28, 2017 at 12:50 am

    wife was killed by7train Lincoln ca. having a time finding a lawer

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