COLLISION IN THE COURTS

  • Article by: PAUL McENROE and TONY KENNEDY , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: December 5, 2010 - 11:54 AM

From Minnesota to California, BNSF Corp. has drawn judicial penalties for misconduct.

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MitzMNDec. 5, 10 7:01 AM

Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me . . . This continued conduct of disregard to the traveling public, followed by tampering with evidence after some horrific accidents, can only lead one to conclude shame on the railroad.

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icu812Dec. 5, 10 7:17 AM

FINALLY, an investigation into the terrible business practices of this company. They have lied and cheated with impunity for far too long. BNSF needs to know they are not God. The employees of this company that I've had the misfortune of working with have the same mentallity of doing anything they want without regard to the community they operate in. Kudos to the Strib for bringing this to light! Warren Buffett should personally administer a company-wide enema starting with the BNSF Fridley shop. He has been silent too long on these life-and-death issues his company seems to have such a blithe attitude toward.

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patwellsDec. 5, 10 8:45 AM

We vote for Minnesota Court of Appeals judges. I believe that David Minge was correct in his dissent. I voted for David Minge in the most recent election. I do not know which judges voted to uphold the BNSF position on appeal. This is not a partisan political matter, but a matter of justice being best served. I believe that the Star Tribune news article should contain at least a PDF file with the Court of Appeals decision and how the judges voted (maybe it is there somewhere and I missed it).

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rita56Dec. 5, 10 9:32 AM

My husband sued the B N and won a settlement on a workplace injury, it was not enough, but never the less he won his case. They are rotten to the core. Once you are injured you are done working, you can have the problem fixed or repaired and yet you are done with them. This is demeaning and cruel. People want to work. I am glad the judge could see how they operate. The UNION was NO help. The Company and Unions work together against the worker. Follow the money!

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olelarsDec. 5, 10 9:33 AM

Just look west of Morris, MN on Hwy 28 if you want to see a deadly intersection with the railroad. It only took a few deaths in the past 15 years to FINALLY get some traffic control.

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goferfanzDec. 5, 10 9:37 AM

So 10% of cases identified behavior the judge didnt like. Big whoop. How does this compare to other large companies, or how often were plaintiffs cited in these 200 cases? Civil court is a war zone, and heavily tilted towards defendants, so I am suprised it isnt higher..............Still, how about just one local news outlet, just one, that REVIEWS THE FACTS IN THE ANOKA CASE. Is that coming Strib? Thousands cross this intersection every day, and after the long-ignored 35W bridge red flags, those of us living in Anoka want to know who vouches for this intersection. Journalism just isnt what it used to be, of this there is no doubt!

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jeebers76Dec. 5, 1010:32 AM

This is one LOOOOOONG news article! I've lost count on how many times I've "next page" clicked.

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ronf528Dec. 5, 1011:37 AM

The frequency with which these questionable actions by the railroad's legal staff occur, obviously points to a practice of deceit. Even if they did it unintentionally, which seems absurd, they should be fined for incompetence. You can only use "the dog ate my homework" so many times. But one has to question if the fines are going to stop the behavior. In the case highlighted here, a $4.2 million fine for a company with annual revenues of $14 billion, is equivalent to fining an average joe making $50k a year $15. That's FIFTEEN dollars. If you had no morals, would you stop doing something that might be worth millions if it cost you $15 each time you were caught? Don't expect BNSF to stop their behavior until the punishment fits the crime.

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LilBeaverDec. 5, 1011:47 AM

Regarding unregulated crossings ( those without control devices or signals ), it has long been the common sense rule to Stop, Look, Listen, and if at night to momentarily turn off your head lights especially at obscured crossings. Sometimes it comes down to personal responsibility in all activities, when driving or walking and crossing a roadway or rail line this becomes a matter of life and death. Do people realize how long it takes to stop a train with steel wheels on steel tracks if they are going 40, 50, or 60 MPH? Likewise do people ever stop to think how much room is required to make a turn with a semi-truck or even a larger straight truck? Yet I continue to see people pull right up to or even partially into an intersection when a truck is signaling that they are going to make a turn there!

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janders55811Dec. 5, 1012:28 PM

It seems to me that the article was leaning to the negative side.

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