Jane Huang’s car was flung into the ditch after being struck by a train on CP Rail tracks. (Langley Advance files)

Woman gets $2 million after 2014 train crash

A lawsuit over a woman injured in a train collision has ended in a multi-million dollar judgment.

A woman who suffered life-altering injuries when she was struck by a train in Langley in 2014 has won a judgment of more than $2 million against Canadian Pacific Rail.

Justice Margo Fleming ruled that the CPR was 60 per cent liable for the crash that flung Jane Huang’s vehicle into a ditch on a rainy afternoon, because of a failure to clear brush that obscured sight lines near the tracks.

On May 8, more than four years ago, Huang’s car crossed the railway tracks at Smith Crescent near Glover Road as she left her new job at the nearby Britco offices.

Though she testified she doesn’t remember the actual collision, Huang told the court she had typically rolled through the stop sign at the tracks, in the mistaken belief that the line was not in use. Her office at Britco didn’t have windows facing the tracks and she hadn’t seen a train there in the few weeks on her new job.

Huang’s car was struck on the passenger side by a freight train, and flung into a nearby ditch.

According to a B.C. Supreme Court judgment released in July, Huang suffered a spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injuries.

She has regained the ability to walk, assisted with a walker, but the woman who acquired an MBA and engineering degree and was working hard to find a new job in Canada now suffers from depression, an inability to work, and a shortened life expectancy.

Huang sued the railway companies seeking up to $4.8 million in compensation.

Justice Margo Fleming ruled that Huang should receive more than $1.37 million for lost earnings, plus more than $350,000 in medical support and modifications to her home and $330,000 in damages for pain and suffering.

Huang had argued that 90 percent of the fault for the crash lay with CPR, which was tasked with maintaining sightlines along its railways. Testimony at the trial suggested the edges of the tracks along Glover Road and a berm around the Britco property were overgrown with blackberry bushes at the time of the crash.

The case also argued that the “storage space” between the tracks and the second stop sign at Smith and Glover Road was too short. Even a normal-sized car couldn’t necessarily fit into the space completely.

The defendants argued that Huang was 80 per cent liable for the crash.

The judge found that while Huang was not entirely blameless, CP Rail was also largely to blame.

“Ms. Huang’s negligence resulted from an unreasonable but honestly held belief the railway tracks had been abandoned, not recklessness or deliberate risk taking,” Justice Fleming wrote. “In contrast the CPR was indifferent in its approach to maintaining adequate sightlines despite being fully aware of the grave risk of collisions.”

This is not the first time train crossings at Glover Road have come under fire.

In 2015, a train hit an ambulance at the Crush Crescent-Glover Road crossing, and the 87-year-old patient later died of her injuries.

A number of changes were made to safety equipment at the crossing, one of the busiest in the Milner area. There are a number of crossings in the Milner area, where farm roads connect across the tracks to Glover.

In 2017, Langley Township budgeted $6.3 million over several years to upgrade rail crossings to new, stricter federal safety rules. There were 30 affected crossings in the Township.

Just Posted

Housing development proposed for property alongside Innes Ave

Full development plan totals 292 dwelling units with four apartment buildings, 10 four-plexes

Cranbrook SAR tasked out twice over the last week

No injuries reported in separate motor vehicle incidents on Hwy 3/95 near Moyie

RDEK board leadership acclaimed for another term

Rob Gay and Clara Reinhardt to serve as chair, vice-chair for another yearly term

Local skicross racers hit the World Cup circuit

Olympian India Sherret is joined by fellow local racers Zoe Chore and Courtney Hoffos

Team Dickson hits the heights at IDFA events

Team Dickson has returned from Calgary with achievements and accolades in the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

WorkSafeBC investigating serious incident at Kootenay Boundary landfill

Medical incident shut down the McKelvey Creek landfill Friday morning

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Most Read