Poole v. CSX Transportation, Inc. (Florida)
This case concerned the death of an intoxicated trespasser on CSX Transportation’s railroad tracks. The plaintiff brought a wrongful-death suit against CSX, arguing that her son had not been trespassing, but rather was invited onto the tracks by a well-established pathway. She also asserted that CSX was grossly negligent in its train operations because the conductors either failed to look for pedestrians on the tracks or neglected to stop the train or sound alarms before striking the decedent. We were retained to defend the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in CSX’s favor. We argued that the presence of a nearby pathway was irrelevant and that, when it comes to duties owed to trespassers on land, there is no distinction between the “active” and “passive” negligence of the landowner. The Florida First District Court of Appeal affirmed.