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Case Summary: Union Pacific Railroad Company v. BEEMAC Trucking, Landstar Ranger & Edling, 11-cv-00008, (D. Nebraska)

This is a personal injury and property damage negligence action based upon the delivery of a truck that allegedly caused a locomotive to strike the truck causing damage and injury to two Union Pacific employees.

Plaintiff, Union Pacific (“UP”), a Class I Railroad, contracted with BEEMAC, a shipping company, to transport UP’s “Grapple Truck” from Kansas to Louisiana. BEEMAC subcontracted the shipment to its agent Landstar who assigned the responsibility for the shipment to its employee, Edling.

Mr. Edling dropped the Grapple Truck off at the rail yard in Louisiana near the railroad track leaving the keys on the dipstick under the hood. Somehow the truck ended up parked on the track where the train struck it. The dispute lies in what happened in between the truck being left and the collision.

The video is of a hearing on a number of Motions in Limine to exclude evidence. Landstar, Edling, and BEEMAC filed Motions in Limine to exclude testimony of certain experts alleging that their testimony is unreliable. Apparently, the grapple truck contained an Electronic Control Unit ("ECU") similar to an airplane's "black box." UP hired Messerschmidt Safety Consultants to download the data from the ECU. Messerschmidt then utilized this data to form his opinion as to when the grapple truck was driven onto the railroad tracks. The motions also ask for exclusion of other evidence as required by the federal rules of evidence.

BEEMAC has also moved the court for an order imposing sanctions against UP for intentionally failing to preserve the electronic data from the grapple truck and information concerning the identity of the individual who placed the grapple truck on the railroad tracks.

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Case-related documents, including those referenced above, are available via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. For more information, visit Pacer.gov.