Metro Government, Louisville Zoo ask judge for immunity - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Metro Government, Louisville Zoo ask judge for immunity

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Deliberations on Thursday. Deliberations on Thursday.
The judge in the case. The judge in the case.
View of crews on the scene after the train crashed from Air 3. View of crews on the scene after the train crashed from Air 3.
View of the derailed train from Air 3. View of the derailed train from Air 3.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE )- The issue of the June 1, 2009 train crash at the Louisville Zoo was back in court Thursday. Metro Government and the Louisville Zoo want government immunity.  Attorneys for many of those employed or staffed with the zoo also argued for a summary judgement from Judge Fred Cowan.

Metro Government has paid settlements now over $525,000 to 22 passengers on board the train. Some of the most severely injured however have lawsuits still pending.

Chad Gardner is an attorney representing one of those victims, Chris Lankford. 

"I'm representing a man whose had eight surgeries and over $400,000 in medical bills," Gardner said. He called the request for immunity "offensive."

Lankford said he's ready for this to be over and to get on with life. "I'm disheartened," Lankford said in reference to the immunity request, "When a wrong has a occurred."

The attorney for Metro Government, Lisa Schweichert argued, "There is simply no statue that has waived immunity for metro govt in this type of litigation."

Attorneys for the other defendants named made arguments too.

David Strite who represents the person who was driving the train crashed said even though speed has been determined a contributing factor,his client is not responsible. "She tried to brake," argued Strite, but explained that his client claims the brakes weren't working.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has also cited poor maintenance in addition to speed.  Though the attorney for the maintenance employee responsible for fitting new brake shoes also argued that his client was not responsible.

Leaving the judge and the attorneys of those injured asking 'who is responsible?'

"What did cause this train wreck," Gardner said, "All blaming each other."

Judge Cowan will review arguments Thursday before making a ruling.

Meanwhile two lawsuits are pending, including Lankford's.

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