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$2.75-million verdict against Union Pacific in fatal auto collision

Blake Cadoret, 18, died when a Union Pacific truck hit his car in 2011. The railroad company denies responsibility and might appeal.

September 06, 2013|By Ari Bloomekatz

Attorneys for the parents of an 18-year-old man who died two years ago in a collision that involved a Union Pacific Railroad truck announced a $2.75-million verdict Friday in their favor.

Blake Cadoret "was driving his car southbound on Sierra Highway when a vehicle going northbound swerved into his lane and collided with his car," according to a news release from the R. Rex Parris Law Firm.

"The driver of the 2006 Union Pacific Chevy Silverado while making an illegal left turn caused the crash and fled the scene of the accident," the news release said.

One of the plaintiff's attorneys, Alexander R. Wheeler, said Cadoret was "just driving, doing absolutely nothing wrong" when the crash occurred in Palmdale on Nov. 17, 2011, just after 3 p.m.

Wheeler said an undisclosed settlement was reached with the other driver involved.

"We're very glad that the jury held Union Pacific accountable for their actions," Wheeler said.

"We at Union Pacific express our deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Blake Cadoret who lost his life in this tragic accident," a spokesman for Union Pacific said in a statement.

"We deny that Union Pacific was responsible for this accident," the statement continued. "We do acknowledge that the jury found a Union Pacific employee 40% responsible for this accident. We are considering an appeal."

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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