Wife Of Man Killed By Metra Train Sues For Wrongful Death

CHICAGO (STMW)– The wife of a Joliet man struck and killed by a Metra train last year has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the rail agency and its partners.

Stephanie Blair claims three rail agencies are liable for the death of her husband, Blair Flatten, who was hit by a Rock Island District Metra train April 18, 2010 at Pilcher Park in south suburban Joliet.

Blair, 32, was walking on a railroad bridge crossing when he was struck and killed around 1:52 p.m., according to the lawsuit filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court.

The train traveled at an excessive speed, failed to maintain a proper lookout for pedestrians, and failed to adequately signal a whistle, the lawsuit states.

The three defendants named in the case are the Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp., doing business as Metra; CSX Transportation, Inc.; and the Commuter Rail Division of the Regional Transportation Authority.

Those agencies “should have known that pedestrians frequently used said bridge to cross over Hickory Creek,” the suit states.

Stephanie Blair is seeking $30,000 for each of the six negligence and survival act counts.

A spokesperson for Metra did not immediately return phone calls Friday.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

  • cubfan1949

    I hope the judge throws out this lawsuit. Common sense on the part of the husband could have prevented the accident. Key word is “accident.” Another get-rich-quick scheme.

    • Craig skip Weis

      What’s the beef?–>1~The train traveled at an excessive speed, [ B.S. The speed has nothing to do with it. The train couldn’t stop if it had to. ] 2~failed to maintain a proper lookout for pedestrians, [ Why look out when there is not suppose to be people on the bridge, or near the track. Stupid lazy ass people anyway. ] and 3~failed to adequately signal a whistle, [ Sound warnings are required only at intersections, coming and going to stations.] the lawsuit states. [ At some point in every life one has to take responsibility for their own self preservation. You up-cuff, you die. Case dismissed. She qualifies for nothing. What do you say consular? At some point other people’s money from lawsuits, becomes your expense. Higher prices, fees, premiums, tax, some thing! Look how close the bridge is to the intersection…why is the deceased even between the two crossing warnings? His problem not the railroads’s.

  • Taxpayer

    “Blair, 32, was walking on a railroad bridge crossing.”
    Walking on the railroad bridge………….Tresspassing on private property?

    Low dollar amount request is hope they will settle out of court as it will be cheaper then paying lawyers to fight this.

  • Bark

    At what point are we finally going to say enough is enough with the lawsuits. This man was on the tracks “ILLEGALLY” and should have known that trains travel on these tracks. I call this a thinning of the herd – another ignorant removed from the planet. Maybe the wife can do us all a favor and take a walk on the same bridge

  • no-bama 2012

    bloodsucking lawyers at it again. This guy was a moron, wife should not get rich over his stupidity.

  • Jeff

    If the train hit the man while he was walking on the sidewalk, then it was the trains fault. If the train hits the man while he is walking on the train tracks, then it’s Darwinism. If you watch the nature channel you know what happens to the slowest antelope.


    What about behaving like a responsible adult?! ?!?!?! It sickens me how people want to get money from someone other than who was at fault. DISMISS THIS AT ONCE YOUR HONOR! Time for a life lesson all the way around.

  • Larry Schaibley

    Time to start throwing these stupd lawsuits out of court. How does she know the train failed to whistle? Was she there? Maybe she pushed him in the the path of the oncoming train. Thinking she is going to strike it rich with these lawsuits makes me think she did.

  • John Sheehan

    Regardless of what you may think about the merits of the case against the railroad, how would you like your family to read a comment like “thinning the herd” connected with a story about your demise?

    • Jo G.

      Well said,John.

  • Hey John

    This is not thinning the herd, its cleaning the gene pool.

  • that guy

    My family would expect a comment like “thinning the herd” or “cleaning the gene pool” is I did something that stupid. and I would deserve it too.

  • other guy

    its like climbing a lightning rod in a electrical storm and being suprised you got struck. these dumb@sses today… where did common sense go?

  • friend of that guy

    I hear that lawsuits are good therapy for losing a loved one in an incredibly stupid and idiotic self inflicted obvious suicide. The wife sounds like a money grubbing loser, no wonder he did it. He got away from her and let her look like an idiot.

  • that guy

    So the companies are liable because they knew people were dumb, and didnt have enough “dumb people lookout measures” in place? I guess the sound of the train wasn’t enough to warn him.

  • mike

    I hate that guy.

  • Concertman

    Her lawyer knows that a “hole in fence” has paid off for many years. Thats why the R.R. “defaults” to ruled suicide automatically. So now the X-R.R. workers wife can win that money and pay back the Railroad for what he “borrowed”. The Black box has all those facts about what engineer did (not felt,imagine). Now he needs a countersuit for distress against her…Other examples, my friends father was pushed onto tracks after beeing robbed and the family was told it was a “default”suicide at first. Sombody else I know lost his leg as a kid by train after going thru hole in park fence. He won a Million a year from City and Railroad. Then there is Rachel Barton, Violinist. hurt when train pulled away and her violin case strap was caught in train door. Now we have “barton bells” and recorded warning “doors are closing”.

  • Greg Arnst

    What kind of lookout do they want? Cameras? Someone watching the bridges 24 hours a day? If the man was walking on a railroad bridge illegally, the death IS wrongful, but not the fault of the railroad.

  • JeanSC

    I have no idea if the train was traveling at excessive speed, failed to maintain a lookout, or didn’t signal. I do know that if a pedestrian decides to use a railroad bridge or any other part of the railroad thoroughfare, he’s doing so at his own risk – and he’s responsible for watching out for trains and avoiding them. Years ago I used a railroad tunnel through a mountain on some backpacking trips. I knowingly did this at my own risk. There was room enough on the side of the tracks to not get hit, but I nevertheless made sure not to enter if I thought a train was close. Since you’re reading this, I did it safely, with no trains in the tunnel for company. Of course I don’t recommend this for anyone else!

  • christine

    It is truly sad that everyone has such negative comments. What this woman does is her business and who are all of you to judge or slander her. Her actions have no affect on the rest of you. She has lost her husband no matter what the cause she has lost and will never hear him laugh see his smile feel his touch again. Your senseless comments are truly a disgrace and the hate that spills oout is aweful… I only hope that none of you ever have to experience a loss this tragic.

    • Mark S

      NO EFFECT ON THE REST OF US????? It is lawsuits like this that cause insurance rates to sky rocket when people like this try to make a joke of the system. The courts just need to put a stop to stupid lawsuits being filed and throw the case out along with the idiot attorney that filed the case.

  • Mark S

    Trespassing on Rail property is actually a misdemeanor offense. I think this guy should be charged with the misdemeanor charge and let his wife post bond. Then when the guy does not show up in court the judge can enter a bond forfieture and find this guy guilty of trespassing. Then his wife can pay the fines and court costs associated with the case. That sounds pretty stupid huh? Just as stupid as someone finding an attorney that has nothing better to do than tie up the courts with this stupidity. Sure hope the Railroad does not just give in and fights this until it is thrown out in court. Should not take more than one court appearance for the judge to have some sense.

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