Citation. 135 F.3d 361 (6th Cir. 1998)
Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiffs’ pickup truck was struck on a railroad crossing. The wife and daughter sustained injuries, but the husband died.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. There must be sufficient evidence presented to raise a material issue of fact for the jury. A directed verdict is proper only when no reasonable juror could find for the nonmoving party.
Plaintiffs were traveling in their pickup truck in a rural area. As the pickup truck approached the railroad crossing, the road narrowed and went up an incline to cross the elevated tracks. There were no lights, bells, or mechanical gates guarding the railroad crossing. The only warning devices were standard cross bucks. As the Plaintiffs crossed the tracks, the train struck and all three were thrown from the pickup truck. Husband died and wife and daughter sustained injuries. Plaintiffs alleged that CSX Transportation, Inc. (Defendant), was negligent in failing to sound a warning as the train approached the crossing, the train crew failed to exercise ordinary care in the operation of the train, and that the railroad crossing was extra-hazardous. The district court issued a directed verdict that the railroad crossing was not extra-hazardous. The jury returned a verdict for Defendant. Plaintiffs appealed. Issue.
There are two issues in this case:
* Was it proper for the district court to determine that the railroad crossing was not extra-hazardous as a matter of law?
* Was the jury verdict supported by sufficient evidence, in that a reasonable juror could find for Defendant?