Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Reinstates Plaintiffs 2008 Flood Class Action Case
And Returns Case to State Court for Trial
May 7, 2015 (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) – The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Plaintiffs and ruled on Thursday, May 7 that Plaintiffs’ class action case against the railroads should be reinstated and sent back to state court in Iowa. “All we ever wanted was a chance to present the truth at trial in state court so that those who suffered certain property damages during the Flood of 2008 could be made whole,” says Attorney Sam Sheronick of Sam Sheronick law Firm, P.C.
Extensive investigation and scientific research led to a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of five (5) Plaintiffs who allege that actions taken by Union Pacific Railroad, the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway Company (CRANDIC), Alliant Energy Corporation and eleven additional railroad-related Defendants obstructed the natural flow of the Cedar River during an otherwise uneventful storm season, and consequently, caused the river to overflow its banks beginning on June 12, 2008. Plaintiffs allege that the Flood of 2008 caused over $6 billion in property damage spanning 10 square miles and 7,749 properties, impacting nearly 19,000 people and created over 80,000 tons of debris.
The class action lawsuit alleges that following the collapse of a railroad bridge in Waterloo, Iowa on June 10, 2008, Defendants took a number of measures to protect their railroad bridges in Cedar Rapids, some of which were 105 years old or older.
The class action lawsuit alleges three of the four railroad bridges in Cedar Rapids were weighted down by Defendants with single or double lines of railcars spanning the railroad bridge structures; the rail cars were weighted down and fully-loaded with rock, liquid, and other items to increase the weight of the bridge structures to prevent them from washing out. The lawsuit further alleges that two of the railroad bridges collapsed and contributed to the damming of the river and that the weighted rail cars on bridges that did not collapse still contributed to the damming of the river by preventing water from flowing downstream through the otherwise skeletal bridge structure, while also obstructing and diverting water from entering into the drainage and storm sewer system. Plaintiffs are seeking both compensatory damages for property damages as well as punitive damages.
The Plaintiffs are represented by Co-Lead Counsel Sam Sheronick of Sam Sheronick Law Firm, P.C. in Cedar Rapids and attorneys John R. Parker, Jr., Eric Ratinoff and Brooks Cutter of Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff, LLP, of Sacramento, California, as well as Edward A. Wallace and Amy E. Keller of Wexler Wallace LLP, in Chicago, Illinois, and Russell G. Petti of La Canada, California.
Born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Sam Sheronick reflects on his firm’s extensive effort to bring this case to justice. “I know these people, have grown up with them, and have worked with them. I know their hard work ethic and the depth of their losses.”
Given the potential number of class members affected by this case should it become certified by a court, the public is directed not to call or visit the attorneys’ offices as all public inquiries should be directed to this link here where an information section has been set up to address questions and inquiries about this case.
Media Only Inquiries Contact:
Sam Sheronick of Sam Sheronick Law Firm, P.C. Phone: (319) 366-8193
(Press Release on behalf of: Sam Sheronick Law Firm, P.C.; Kershaw, Cutter, Ratinoff LLP; Wexler Wallace LLP; Law Offices of Russell G. Petti)
(End of Press Release)
Similarly, those wanting to share information about the causes of the flood and other matters relevant to this case, or those interested in being a potential class action representative, should not call or stop by the Cedar Rapids personal injury law firm, but rather, they should click this link here and submit their information through the online form at that link.
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