$6 million Settlement in Train Crossing Crash

Illinois Central Railroad has settled a wrongful death case for $6 million just before the start of the trial. The family of Katie Ann Lunn filed the suit after a train hit her SUV in April 2010.

Video evidence and witnesses confirmed that the gates, lights and bells were not functioning at the train crossing when her vehicle was struck. Lunn, a dance instructor, had been heading towards her home following a dance contest at Governors State University near Chicago.

Several witnesses said they had seen railway workers and trucks near the tracks at the time of the accident. The Canadian National Railway Company (CN) controlled the tracks, and they had a crew working near the crossing before the crash.

The Illinois Central Railroad Company, which settled the suit, is a subsidiary of CN. Opening statements in the civil suit had been scheduled for Tuesday until the family accepted the deal on Monday night.

The victim's father, Jerry Lunn, said in a statement that the focus of the family had been on the safety of others, and they hoped to prevent further loss of life through the lawsuit.

Patrick Waldron, a spokesman for CN, said in a written statement, “CN again wishes to express its sincerest regrets and deepest sympathies to the entire Lunn family. CN remains committed to doing everything necessary to ensure that all CN crossings are safe. Our highest priority is the safety of our employees and of the communities through which we operate.”

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

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