Trainspotting? Man Jumps from Train, then Sues

A U.S. District Court judge threw out the lawsuit of an Amtrak railroad passenger who claimed he injured himself when he jumped from a train that he had boarded in error.  If you guessed that alcohol would somehow be involved, you are correct.  You can download the whole decision here.

The facts are even more interesting with confusion from the plaintiff as to who sold him his ticket and how he boarded the wrong train, proving once again that you can’t make this stuff up. The Court’s decision has the details:

On the evening of May 19, 2005, the plaintiff consumed approximately five large tequila-based margarita cocktails [note to court: don’t all margaritas have tequilla?] at a New Haven restaurant before walking to the New Haven Railroad Station. …

The plaintiff testified that the ticket agent told him that the train was on track number eight, that it was already there, and that it was the last train  so he “better hurry.” Without looking at the announcement board in the train station, the plaintiff walked to platform eight and boarded out-of-service Metro-North train number 1570. The train’s doors then closed and the train traveled for between seven and fifteen minutes before stopping at the New Haven Train Yard.

When the train doors opened, the plaintiff noticed that the train was not stopped at a platform, and he walked throughout the train and yelled for assistance but was unable to find anyone. Unable to see the ground below the train, the plaintiff jumped from the train car and injured his ankle. He then called 911 with his cell phone. Metro-North police responded, and the plaintiff was transported to Yale New Haven Hospital.

And then, of course, he sued….


  • Sometime margeritas are made with wine. That’s how they do it when they can’t sell hard liquor.

  • Well, you learn something new each day….I need to go take a bartending class.

  • Does a lime, orange, sour, wine beverage still qualify as a margarita? Or should it travel by another name? This must be one of those concoctions found only in states with archaic blue-laws.

  • I’ve long felt we should have a national law to occupy the field and prevent local ordinances from denying a liqour lisence to certain businesses. Mexican food restaurants should be automatically allowed to sell tequilla and pizza joints should be able to sell beer. Burritos without a margarita are like, well, pizza without beer. Wrong.

  • “Does a lime, orange, sour, wine beverage still qualify as a margarita? Or should it travel by another name?”

    Sounds rather like sangria to me.

  • note to court: don’t all margaritas have tequilla? –
    a virgin margarita perhaps . . .

  • Thank you, Mr. Poser. I was going to offer up such a suggestion. It doesn’t change the fact that only a jack-ass jumps from a moving train and tries to cash in on it. Something about trains and their juggernaut-like power being one of the few things in life that is aptly accepted as innate knowledge. Dog’s showing their teeth for example; one of those things you don’t need to be taught to avoid – just like moving trains. Both will always win.

  • It says “jumped from the train”, however it wasn’t moving anymore it was parked in the train yard. ( which makes jumping while you don’t see the ground even more idiotic! )