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Visions in the Night: A PA Settlement Wipes Out Years of Precedent.

August 21, 2009

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In the case of <i>Klein v. Amtrak </i>, two trespassing teenagers climbed atop a train car parked in a lot owned by Antrak. They suffered serious burns when they got too close to a 12,000-volt wire. The jury found for the plaintiffs (finding them 0% liable) and awarded $24,000,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. During the progression of the case, the court made new law on the "attractive nuisance" doctrine, and the standard of proof required to show that a landowner was aware of a risk because of similar prior accidents. The case has now been settled during the pendency of an appeal. As a condition of the settlement, and with the approval of the district court, all prior decisions were vacated. But for the money, it's as if the case never happened.
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