October 2016

Traynham and Stewart Obtain Summary Judgment on Behalf of Railroad Client

In September 2016, Jay Traynham and Walker Stewart obtained summary judgment on behalf of a railroad client in a claim arising from a crossing accident at a public crossing in South Georgia. The Plaintiff alleged claims that (1) the railroad failed to install active warning devices; (2) the railroad failed to widen the crossing in breach of O.C.G.A. §32-6-190; (3) the railroad failed to identify and notify a governmental entity of allegedly dangerous conditions and inadequate warnings at the crossing in breach of O.C.G.A. §32-6-190; (4) the railroad failed to install a crossbuck on the same post as the stop sign at the crossing; (5) the railroad failed to comply with an internal special instruction regarding train speed; (6) the railroad failed to control vegetation near the crossing; (7) the railroad’s train crew failed to maintain a proper lookout; and (8) the railroad failed to comply with the Federal train horn regulation, 49 C.F.R. §222.21. The court granted summary judgment in favor of the railroad on all of the Plaintiff’s claims, finding there were no genuine issues of material fact. In doing so, the court reaffirmed the holding in Evans Timber Co., Inc. v. Central of Georgia Railroad Co., 239 Ga. App. 262 (1999) that the railroad’s duty at a public crossing is limited to “maintenance” as defined by the Georgia Code of Public Transportation and does not include a duty to install active warning devices. The court further held that the driver’s failure to detect the train, which was burning its headlight, flashing its ditch lights, and blowing the horn, was the sole proximate cause of the accident.

Hilary Houston Adams

May 2016

Hilary Houston Adams Joins HBGM as Litigation Associate

HBGM is pleased to announce that Hilary Houston Adams has joined the firm as a litigation associate in our Atlanta office. Hilary is a 2007 graduate of Duke Law School and has broad based litigation experience in the areas of financial services, commercial contract, toxic tort and personal injury that she brings to the firm. We welcome Hilary to the firm and look forward to her providing excellent legal representation to our clients. Please see her attorney listing for additional background.
Eileen Crowley

April 2016

HBGM Attorney Obtains Summary Judgment for Railroad Client

In April, 2016, Eileen Crowley obtained summary judgment on behalf of a railroad client in a claim by an adjacent landowner in Gordon County for inverse condemnation of his land. The landowner had contended that a 2008 Georgia statute concerning defining railroad right of way boundaries was unconstitutional and that the railroad’s actions in constructing a passing track resulted in blocking access to a major portion of his property, essentially destroying the value of his 150-acre riverfront property. Much of the litigation involved interpretation of an 1868 deed, the 1913 Railroad Valuation Act, and legal rights inherit in use of a railroad easement for right of way.

Daryl G. Clarida

November 2015

Daryl Clarida Selected to 2016 Georgia Super Lawyers List

Daryl Clarida has been selected to the 2016 Georgia Super Lawyers List. This selection is based on the assessment of his peers practicing in the state of Georgia. He has been selected to this list numerous times in the areas of general litigation and personal injury defense. Mr. Clarida is a partner in the firm’s litigation section.

Eileen Crowley

August 2015

HBGM Attorneys Obtain Defense Verdict for Railroad Client

Eileen Crowley and Daryl Clarida obtained a defense verdict for a railroad client in a train and vehicle collision wrongful death lawsuit filed in Gwinnett County State Court. Plaintiff’s counsel requested the jury to award $6M in damages but the jury found that the train crew did not negligently operate the train in a manner to have caused the collision.