Arkansas Supreme Court denies train crash victims class-action status
Lafayette County judge denies class action lawsuit against Union Pacific railroad.
Little Rock, AK(JusticeNewsFlash.com)–The Arkansas Supreme Court overturned a Lafayette County circuit court judge’s ruling that granted class-action status to injured Union Pacific train crash victims on Thursday.
As reported by Arkansas News, several Arkansas residents who had been seriously injured or loved ones had died in train crashes involving Union Pacific filed for class-action status against the railroad company. Lawyers for the injured plaintiffs assert Union Pacific violated the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADPA), when they persuaded injured persons and grieving family members to forgo legal counsel and accept settlements directly from the railroad company.
According to Arkansas federal court documents, Union Pacific was accused of persuading plaintiffs to settlements for train crash damages and injuries, which were unfairly low. Apparently, executives for the train company contacted injured consumers, shortly after tragic train accidents, and told them if they hired lawyers for themselves would cost them money and delay receiving settlement funds from the company. These types of unfair business practices are a direct violation of state and federal laws and are considered fraudulent concealment and misrepresentation. The Arkansas high court in Little Rock agreed the plaintiffs’ allegations were not similar enough for class-action status even though all parties involved received settlements from Union Pacific.
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