Reader Steve Headley advises us that there have been follow-ups to the case (publicized worldwide) of Patricia Frankhouser of Jeannette, Pa., who’s suing the Norfolk Southern railway over a broken finger and other injuries she suffered in an encounter with one of its freight trains; the suit, among its other contentions, claimed the railroad should have warned that walking along the tracks was dangerous and should have yielded the right of way (see Nov. 12). After the original reports in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Post-Gazette, and a Tribune-Review letter to the editor and editorial critical of the suit, attorney Harry F. Smail Jr. wrote in to the paper with his side of the story (Nov. 16). Smail argues that the case is meritorious because Frankhouser was earlier acquitted of charges of criminal trespass arising from being on the tracks. His response drew another critical letter to the editor (Nov. 17). (& update Feb. 20).
Attorney Smail, incidentally, has lately been involved in another colorful case, successfully representing a woman who passed a supposed $200 bill at a Fashion Bug; neither she nor the store clerk realized that there is no $200 denomination and that the bill was a joke replica with pictures and other references to President George W. Bush, Jr. (Bob Stiles, “Charges withdrawn against woman who used bogus bill”, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Nov. 13; “Charges Dropped in Bogus Bush Bill Case”, The Guardian (UK), Nov. 15).