Mother of train accident victim files $25 million lawsuit
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) - The mother of Hannah Barnes, killed last August in a train accident, has filed a $25 million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against the family of the man Hannah was with when she died.
Lisa Barnes filed the complaint in Hamilton County Circuit Court last week.
The suit names Hennen Restaurant Group LLC, Tim Hennen, Corrine McDonald Hennen, Michael Luhowiak, McDonald Farms LLC, and Norfolk Southern Railway Company as defendants.
The 17-page complaint alleges the Hennens provided Hannah Barnes with alcohol at a birthday party at their downtown restaurant. Barnes claims the Hennens knew her daughter was 19-years-old, under the legal drinking age, because she was an employee of the business.
Barnes claims Michael Hennen, who was also killed in the accident that took Hannah Barnes' life, was negligent when he "led an intoxicated Hannah to the railroad tracks and convinced her to lie down".
The suit says the poorly lit farm crossing located on McDonalds Farms also contributed to her daughter's death. It claims there was no sign to warn unfamiliar guest to the property that passing trains would not sounds a warning horn. According to the suit, McDonald Farms and Norfolk Southern entered into an agreement that trains would not blow a horn or whistle as it approached the train crossing.
Barnes says because there was not a horn blown, Hannah Barnes and Michael Hennen were not awakened in time for them to get off the tracks.
Norfolk Southern is named as a defendant in the case because Barnes claims the conductor and/or engineer did not keep a proper lookout.
The suit requests Hannah Barnes' estate be awarded $25 million as a result of her wrongful death.
Stay with Channel 3 Eyewitness News for more on this developing story.