Partner Vince Castillo and Associate Alexei Offill-Klein Obtain Defense Verdict in Train Accident Case

On December 9, 2021, Vince Castillo and Alexei Offill-Klein obtained a defense verdict in a federal jury trial before Judge Alsup in the Northern District of California in Hall v. Amtrak, Case No. 3:19-cv-02312-WHA. Plaintiff was the father of a 25-year-old woman who was struck and killed by an Amtrak train while walking on a railroad track. Before trial, Vince and Alexei successfully moved for summary judgment as to plaintiff’s premises liability claims asserted against Amtrak and BNSF. Plaintiff’s remaining claim at trial was for negligent operation of the train.

In his opening statement, plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award $10 million in damages. In closing argument, counsel suggested that $10 million was “the floor” and stated that $20 million would be an appropriate award. The jury deliberated for 2.5 hours before returning a unanimous defense verdict finding that Amtrak was not responsible for the accident.