New lawsuits, new laws follow Midland train accident

On November 15, 2012, a freight train struck a flatbed trailer carrying 26 passengers.
On November 15, 2012, a freight train struck a flatbed trailer carrying 26 passengers.

MIDLAND, TX (KCBD) - More details were released Wednesday about the lawsuit following a train accident in Midland last fall that killed 4 veterans and injured several others.

Almost two dozen victims are now involved in that lawsuit against Union Pacific and Smith Industries. Some of those victims are family members of the deceased, while others sustained injuries resulting in amputations, paralysis and post traumatic stress disorder.

In response, Union Pacific has filed a lawsuit against Smith Industries and is expected to also name Midland County, the City of Midland and the event organizers as responsible third parties.

According to NTSB, the railroad crossing where the accident happened should have given a 30-second warning due to the speed of the train, but only a 20-second warning was given. The organizers of the event also did not have a city permit allowing the parade.

Tuesday, the city of Midland proposed several new ordinances regarding parade and special event permits.

The City Council voted to approve the ordinance yesterday afternoon. According to Midland mayor Wes Perry, the current ordinance is nearly 60 years old and only two sentences long. The new one is over a dozen pages long and the city council feels it is much clearer.

The biggest change to the current ordinance is that the city manager will not issue any permit for any event that involves crossing over a railroad track. Organizers now have to ask permission from the railroad company, then show the proof of permission to the city.

Organizers must also get insurance to cover the event. This relieves the city of any liability in the event of any negligent accident.

Mayor Perry feels these changes are a step in the right direction.

Copyright 2013 KCBD. All rights reserved.