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Negligence lawsuit over train crash moves forward

Published On: Mar 19 2013 04:46:30 PM CDT
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -

A state appeals ruling means a negligence lawsuit against a railroad company in a 2009 train-van crash in a Milwaukee suburb can move forward.

The 1st District Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling Tuesday that the plaintiffs' claims were pre-empted by federal railroad law.

Elm Grove Officer John Krahn and Scott Partenfelder were severely injured in 2009 as they rescued Partenfelder's wife and 2-year-old child from a van that was stuck on some train tracks during a Memorial Day parade.

The lower court ruled the parade presented only a potential hazard, so federal law protected the railroad from negligence. The appeals court reversed that ruling and sent the case back to the circuit court. The railroad's attorney did not immediately return a phone call.

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