Railroad not at fault in man’s death — jury

Railroad not at fault in man’s death — jury

Posted: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 6:18 am

A trial concluded Friday in an Obion County court in a civil lawsuit filed in the 2005 death of a man who fell beneath some railroad cars — with a jury finding in favor of the railroad.
The trial lasted all of last week in Obion County Circuit Court, with the verdict Friday finding the railroad was not at fault and nothing awarded to the plaintiff on behalf of the railroad, according to Circuit Court Clerk Harry Johnson.
The lawsuit was filed in connection with the death of 43-year-old Jose Luis Molina of Union City, who died Aug. 23, 2005, when he apparently fell from a railroad car and slipped beneath the wheels on a stretch of railroad tracks on North Second Street, just north of West Main Street, in downtown Union City, police reported.
Molina was employed as a laborer for Union City Grain Co. at the time.
A witness told police Molina was on a railway car, which was being moved by other grain company employees with the use of a front-end loader, when he slipped and fell beneath the cars. The stretch of tracks is located just east of Union City Grain’s complex.
Molina was pronounced dead at the scene.
Molina’s widow, Mary Ann Molina, also known as Mary Ann Barahona, initially filed the suit against Canadian National Railroad, doing business as Illinois Central Railroad Co., and Union City Grain Co. for her husband’s “personal injuries and wrongful death,” according to the complaint.
The civil case had been ongoing for nearly five years and the railroad company was the only defendant which remained named in the case for last week’s jury trial.
Molina’s widow was seeking $7.5 million in compensatory damages and $3 million in punitive damages.
Circuit Judge William B. Acree Jr. presided over the civil trial.

Published in The Messenger 9.20.10

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