Solorzano Law Firm logo

(602) 507-7778

Call Us For Free Consultation

Solorzano Law Firm Case – Freestone Park train derailment sparks $5M in claims

It was supposed to be a fun day for Jascara Martinez’s son, who was celebrating his second birthday at Freestone District Park near Lindsay and Guadalupe roads.

That November afternoon in 2023, Martinez, the birthday boy, a 4-year-old son, and extended family members boarded a miniature train for a five-minute ride. The streamlined engine was to pull three cars of passengers on a three-quarter-mile ride around the park’s two lakes.

Instead, the train derailed, and Martinez, her sons, her sister, and her mother suffered injuries. Now, they want a combined $5.4 million from the Town of Gilbert to settle their claims. The private operator of the train was also named in the claims.

“The claims are being investigated,” town spokeswoman Kelsey Perry said in an email. “If the investigation reveals that the Town is not legally liable for the claimed harm, the claim will either be denied or allowed to expire.”

Allowing it to expire after 60 days is deemed denied under state law.

“If the investigation reveals that the Town may be at fault, the Town may contact the claimant to attempt to settle the claim,” Perry said. “Due to the potential for litigation, the Town will not be commenting further.”

At the time of the accident, police reported to the media that an adult and a child were hurt and taken to a hospital.

In the claim filed March 27, Jascara Martinez said she and her two sons were on the train for a short time “before it took a right turn, causing the third train car to fall over and off the track.”

“Some of the passengers of this car, including our clients, fell out of their seats and became pinned beneath the car,” said attorney Timothy LeDuc in the claim. “On impact, Jascara Martinez fell from her seat and sustained an injury to her head.”

LeDuc, who did not respond to questions for the story, said Martinez’s oldest son fell from his seat and his left arm became pinned beneath the toppled train car. The Town redacted the names of the minors in the claims.

“Realizing he was trapped, Jascara attempted to slide underneath part of the train car frame to get to her 4-year-old son, who was distressed, screaming and crying in pain,” LeDuc continued. “In the process, Jascara sustained a second injury to her head.”

LeDuc said that Jascara sustained several injuries and symptoms from the accident, including pain in the neck, chest, shoulder and arms, muscle aches and pain and a cervical spine sprain. She also suffered from fatigue, emotional trauma and sleep disorder, he added.

The 2-year-old suffered emotional trauma and the older boy, who was trapped, suffered a fracture near the elbow joint, permanent scars, acute stress reaction and emotional trauma, according to LeDuc.

“As a result of this incident, Claimants have suffered an immense decrease in their quality of life,” LeDuc said.

He’s asking for $3 million to settle the claim.

Attorney Jonathan Solorzano filed two separate claims in late February for Renya Garcia and her adult daughter, Yohanna Martinez. He also did not respond to questions.

According to the two claims, Renya, Yohanna, and their family became concerned when the compartment began to shake and make noise shortly after the train took off.

“Moments later, the rail car overturned, and the entire weight of the train car was on top of the women and children,” Solorzano said, adding that they were all taken to the hospital for treatment.

He claimed that Renya was diagnosed with a pinched nerve in her neck, a “condition that will necessitate surgical intervention for proper recovery.” She also suffered a broken wrist, he added.

Yohanna was diagnosed with a pulled ligament in her right shoulder, which also will need surgery, and two cracked ribs, Solorzano said.

The impact on Yohanna’s spinal column “was particularly severe,” with injuries to two discs, “demanding careful and extended medical management,” according to Solorzano.

He is asking for $1.2 million for each woman to settle their claims.

The attorneys laid blame on the Town of Gilbert, alleging gross negligence.

LeDuc cited a Gilbert Police report that “noted that the railroad track in this area was ‘not completely leveled nor built into the ground’ and that they were ‘exposed and at a decline’ suggesting that this was the cause of the accident.”

“The area of the tracks, which were improperly installed, posed an obvious risk of serious bodily harm every single day from the point they were installed,” LeDuc added.

He said that while Legacy Rides owns and operates the train, it agreed with the town to “build and maintain the Freestone Railroad.”

He pointed out that the Town “had exclusive control over the premises and area surrounding the railroad” and “failed to complete adequate safety inspection of the train and track.”

The Town knew or should have known “that how the railroad was built and installed was subsequently likely to cause serious injury or death,” LeDuc charged.

Solorzano claimed that the Town is responsible for regular inspections of amusement park rides, including the train, but it failed to do so.

“This incident brings to mind the importance of safety measures and regular maintenance checks in amusement parks and public spaces,” he said. “The tragic incident at Freestone Park serves as a wake-up call to prioritize safety and vigilance in public spaces and to continually strive for better safety standards to protect the well-being of all individuals within the park.”

This isn’t the first children’s amenity in Gilbert where people were injured and submitted claims against the town.

Several people have reported injuries while coming down the concrete slide at Gilbert Regional Park. The latest claim over the slide was filed in January.

 

Source: https://www.gilbertsunnews.com/news/freestone-park-train-derailment-sparks-5m-in-claims/article_d590453c-f906-11ee-b513-133bc8775f6a.html?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTAAAR2U5OysFDYU0nEgKg78SqSp7hl9uGFSatH-mOkNx9JQYDtlW3_bGO_tVnE_aem_Ac2pua51WTJKEZ8v1WsGMf5pbY-i-LdBwLnW0CjYKQ2YiqckqGz2GQoG0sPy3Iu6_O4-C62YCSMMgaWsnPwHhgdi

Share Us:

Our Head Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Solorzano

JONATHAN SOLORZANO, ESQ.

Jonathan chose the areas of legal practice he would work in based on his life experiences. He is the son of school psychologists who immigrated to the United States before he was born.

Recent posts

"IF WE DON'T WIN, WE WILL PAY YOU $1,000.00"

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

“win” is defined as recovering any amount of money for your injuries. This offer is valid so long as there is insurance coverage and you were not at fault. The Attorney may choose to still award you with $1000.00 as a gift even if you were at fault and or there is no insurance coverage. This is part of our pledge to help the community and give back. Most Attorney’s advertise” “if we don’t win, you don’t owe us a fee” but fail to take into consideration that you may have lost valuable time waiting for your case to be completed. We take the no fee promise a step further by saying we will do our best to make you whole and this includes these $1000.00 as a gift to mitigate a worst case scenario where we take on your case and despite our best efforts cannot recover. This money can only be given to you at the end of our representation and is not an advance on client costs, fees or awards. All of our personal injury cases are on a contingency fee basis. This $1000.00 offer only applies to Personal Injury cases and does not apply to immigration or business law cases.

Latino Owned Law Firm - Hablamos Español

(602) 507-7778

Call Us For Free Consultation

Let's Talk Today

Contact us today for a free case evaluation!

Case Type
How Did You Hear About Us?