Union Pacific repeatedly punished for destroying evidence


Staff member
Jun 3, 2003
Union Pacific repeatedly punished for destroying evidence
New York Times |
"After a witness to the accident said the signal appeared to have malfunctioned, a lawyer for Mr. Lopez's family arranged with Union Pacific in October 2001 to inspect the signal. But a railroad manager beat the lawyer there by several hours. In the predawn darkness, the manager secretly swapped the suspect parts for newer ones. The cover-up was not discovered until weeks later, when the Lopezes' lawyer noticed that the serial numbers on the parts did not match the railroad's records. Union Pacific's conduct is a stark example of how some railroads, even as they blame motorists, repeatedly sidestep their own responsibility in grade-crossing fatalities. Their actions range from destroying, mishandling or simply losing evidence to not reporting the crashes properly in the first place... In one recent 18-month period, seven federal and state courts imposed sanctions on Union Pacific, the nation's biggest railroad, for destroying or failing to preserve evidence in crossing accidents."