Family Caught in Train Derailment Settles for $36 Million

Tellez family was in their van at a stop when train tankers containing ethanol derailed and exploded in 2009

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    Firefighters respond to a train derailment and fire Friday, June 19, 2009 in Rockford Illinois.

    A family injured in a train derailment and explosion two years ago in Rockford has agreed on a $36 million settlement.

    Jose Tellez and Adriana Tellez filed separate lawsuits against CN Railroad after a train explosion on June 19, 2009.

    The Tellez family was caught in their van at a stop when train tankers containing ethanol derailed and exploded, according to a press release by Adriana Tellez's attorneys from the firm of Parente & Norem.

    The incident left Jose and Adriana badly burned and killed Jose's wife, Zoila Tellez. Adriana was pregnant at the time and lost her baby.

    The jury found CN responsible after siding with plaintiffs claiming the railroad company failed to communicate a track washout to Illinois Central Railroad Company and Chicago Central & Pacific Railroad Company.

    Jose Tellez received a $22.5 million settlement and Adriana $13.7 million for her lawsuit.

    "We hope the settlement and verdict send a message to the railroads that what happened to our beloved Zoila, Jose and Adriana could have and should have been avoided," the family said in a statement.

    The family said they are still "scarred and devastated by the tragedy".

    Law firm Corboy & Demetrio represent Jose Tellez and Parente & Norm represent Adriana.