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ST. PAUL, Minn. — BNSF agreed to pay a $29M settlement to the families of four young people who tragically died in a train crash in Anoka on the night of Sept. 26, 2003. One of the victims, 23-year old Brian Frazier of Newport, was driving the car when a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train hit the car at a rail crossing. Frazier and three others were killed.

After a long legal battle, BNSF agreed to settle with the families instead of appealing the jury verdict to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“It happened so quickly that I didn’t believe it was true,” said Dave Shannon, whose daughter Bridgette, 17, of Ramsey, was the youngest of the four victims.

John Ambler, BNSF vice president of corporate relations, confirmed Monday that the “judgment has been satisfied” and that the company has “no plans to appeal.”

“We continue to have deep sympathies for the families and are sad for their loss,” he said.

Burlington Northern had 30 days after the March 28 Minnesota Supreme Court ruling to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, however it would have been a long shot for the highest Court to hear a final appeal, and filing it could have delayed the conclusion of the case.

The settlement is among the largest wrongful-death settlements ever in Minnesota, surpassing the $25 million stemming from the plane crash that killed Sen. Paul Wellstone nearly 10 years ago.

Source: Star Tribune

Posted by railroad injury lawyer Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP

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