CN Rail Sues Mother Of Man Who Died At Railroad Crossing

An Ontario mother has less than three weeks to respond to a lawsuit filed against her by CN Rail two years after her son was hit and killed at a railroad crossing.

Sharon Jobson’s 22-year-old son John died after a westbound Via train collided with his truck near Glencoe, west of London, on July 29, 2011. Six passengers on the train were injured.

On Tuesday, Jobson was served with papers from CN Rail, which said that the company was seeking $500,000 in damages from the tragic accident. She was given until July 29, the second anniversary of her son’s death, to respond. Jobson was named in the suit because she is the executor of John’s estate.

According to CTV, CN Rail claimed that John Jobson was negligent and responsible for the collision because he failed to heed a warning signal and the train’s whistle. The company said that repairing the track and other costs were significant.

Jobson said Thursday that she was unsure of how to respond to the suit, which she had no idea about until she was served. She told Canada AM, “I’ll wait until next week when my lawyer returns and he’ll advise me what to do.”

Jobson added, “Honestly I don’t want to be doing this at this time. I just want to have a peaceful time right now. I wish this wasn’t upon me. I wish they hadn’t done it this way.”

A report by the Transportation Safety Board found that John Jobson failed to stop at the railroad crossing, but also said that the buildings surrounding the crossing, as well as vegetation along the track, prevented the train crew and John from seeing each other.

The report also suggested that the train’s whistle needed to be upgraded, meaning that John possibly didn’t hear — and hadn’t actually ignored — the sound. The crossing also only had one stop sign at the time of John Jobson’s death, and his mother has since lobbied to have bells, gates, and lights installed.