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American wins right to sue Austrian OBB train company in the US

By Maddy French

An American woman whose legs were crushed by a train in Austria has won her appeal to take the Austrian railroad to court in the US.

The US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that because Carol Sachs had bought a Eurail pass from a US-based company the case had enough connection to commercial activity in the US.

This overturned previous court decisions that had ruled in favour of Austria's state-owned railroad OBB Personenverkehr AG, who had called for the case to be dismissed because the US had no jurisdiction over it.

Sachs lost her legs in April 2007 after falling between the gap between the OBB train and the platform when she was trying to board and was hit by the moving train. When she sued OBB, for negligence in 2008, the company claimed the train was already moving when Sachs tried to board.

The Austrian train company now have an opportunity to appeal to the US Supreme Court. If they don't, the case will return to the San Francisco court where a new trial judge will be assigned.

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