Angela Palank would never say she was lucky. Eight years ago, herhusband Paul, a city of Miami police officer, was killed when a CSXTransportation train he was aboard derailed in South Carolina. ABroward County jury in 1997 found that CSX had negligently maintained akey track switch and socked the company with a $50 million punitivedamage award.

Palank, a Cooper City commissioner, may not be fortunate, but at leastthe timing of her suit prevented a horrific situation from becomingeven worse for her and her two children.

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