Train conductor suing CSX in connection with January crash

2012-11-13T18:30:00Z 2012-11-13T19:49:07Z Train conductor suing CSX in connection with January crashChelsea Schneider Kirk, (219) 933-3241

A train conductor, who was injured when three freight trains crashed northeast of Valparaiso in January, is suing CSX Transportation Inc. in connection with the incident.

The conductor, Benjamin M. Knipp, contends the rail company was negligent in the crash, according to the case filed in Hammond federal court Friday.

Knipp worked as the conductor of the freight train that had stopped on a CSX track “awaiting further instruction” when it was hit in the rear by another CSX train, according to court records.

A third train, which was supposed to go around the first train, then struck the wreckage. The incident occurred in Jackson Township near County Road 600 North and County Road 500 East.

Two crew members were injured in the crash that created a fiery scene of derailed cars. All three trains were headed to Chicago.

CSX declined comment Tuesday, citing the company's policy on not commenting on pending litigation.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.

According to the suit, the collision forced Knipp out of his engine seat. The suit contends it was the rail company's duty to use safe methods in operating its trains and to monitor train movements. The third train was estimated to be traveling at 57 mph.

Knipp is seeking damages for the injuries he sustained, medical expenses and lost wages. His attorney, Robert Thompson, did not immediately return a call Tuesday for comment.

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