Two railroads have been sued following the death of 26 year-old Katie Lunn. Ms. Lunn, was killed when an Amtrak train travelling 70 mph struck her SUV which was stopped on the tracks in heavy traffic. The Illinois train accident took place on Stuenkel Road and Governors Highway in south suburban Monee, Illinois.
An Illinois train accident lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County claiming negligence on the part of Illinois Central Railroad and Wisconsin Central, Ltd. The two railroads are owned by the Canadian National Railway Company.
Although the federal investigation had cleared Amtrak of any responsibility for causing the incident, Amtrak could still be on the hook to pay for the wrongful death of Ms. Lunn. That may be because Amtrak had an operating agreement with Illinois Central that required it to indemnify and hold harmless Illinois Central against any negligence or fault on the part of Illinois Central or its employees. This is a typical type of indemnification clause found in many cooperating contracts.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of the estate of Ms. Lunn refers to the preliminary findings from the federal investigation. The suit states that the two railroads failed to insure that the crossing-protection systems would be functioning at the time of this incident. The lawsuit also claims that the defendants cancelled slow-zone orders that were in effect earlier in the day requiring trains to reduce speed through the crossing.
At the time of this occurrence, Katie Lunn was driving home after she had watched students at a dance contest at Governors State University. She was a dance instructor at the Joffrey Ballet School and the School of Performing Arts in Naperville, Illinois as well as a performer with the Hip Hop Connexion and the Chicago Dance Theater.
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