Court Upholds Ruling Against Railroad in St. Francis County Accident

FEBRUARY 27, 2004 - Posted at 7:54 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Union Pacific has no immediate reaction to an Arkansas Supreme ruling that upheld a $30 million judgement against the railroad company.  The company says it is reviewing the opinion.

The court upheld a jury award out of St. Francis County to a man who was injured in a train-truck crash after Union Pacific repeatedly failed to clear brush along the tracks at the crossing.

Christopher Barber of Wynne suffered a spinal cord injury when the Union Pacific train hit a garbage truck in which he was riding.  The crash left Barber partially paralyzed.

The January 19, 1998, accident north of Highway 70 near Goodwin took the life of Charles E. Rolfe of Widener.

The jury award is believed to be the largest ever approved by the state Supreme Court.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)