A railroad company is being sued by the father of a Crockett High School student who suffered injuries when she was hit by a train last week near the school in South Austin.
A lawsuit filed Wednesday in Travis County says Union Pacific Railroad Company failed to give a reasonable and timely audible warning of the train’s approach. The document accuses the company of publishing misleading information about how often its conductors sound their horns.
“Although the conductor failed to stop the train on time, it hit H. Garrett, a minor, causing severe and debilitating injuries,” the lawsuit says.
The student’s father, James Garrett, is seeking more than $1 million to pay for medical bills and to offset damages for physical pain and mental anguish and physical impairment. The age of the student is not listed in the document.
Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services crews received reports of the incident around 5:30 a.m. March 10 along a section of railroad tracks on West Stassney Lane near Rose Hill Circle. Medics found the girl suffering from injuries to the lower part of her body. She was taken to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center with serious but non-life threatening injuries.
The lawsuit says Union Pacific, which is based in Delaware, “failed to supply any restricted access, warning, signage, or alternate route of any kind in that area.” The pathway is commonly used by students, according to the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, the railroad company is aware that many of its conductors do not properly sound horns but “has intentionally misrepresented the extent of the problem by publishing false and misleading information concerning the nature and extent of the problem.”
Corpus Christi attorney Daniel Covich filed the lawsuit on behalf of James Garrett.