over a mile apart at Ridgeland Avenue and Central Avenue (Tr. 1239, 1349, 1886, 2441),
there also should have been one roughly half-way in between at Austin (Tr. 1274). Dr.
Berg also asserted that defendants should have built chain-link fencing to “channelize”
pedestrians toward the crossing points at Austin, Ridgeland, and Central. Tr. 1254. In Dr.
Berg’s view, this fencing was necessary to “discourage crossing at other points,”
although it could not “prevent it” entirely. Tr. 1254, 1257. Dr. Berg opined that these
measures would have “achieve[d] higher levels of safety,” although he admitted that they
would not have prevented all trespassing. Tr. 1365.
In support of their contention that Dr. Berg’s testimony was too unreliable to be
admitted, defendants pointed out that chain-link fencing likely would be cut and,
moreover, that fencing alone could never be effective, because what was required was not
merely providing crossing points, but rather completely separating would-be train
flippers from the tracks. Tr. 147-49. They explained that Dr. Berg’s conclusions—that
defendants feasibly could have constructed channeling fencing and a new crossing at
Austin and that the absence of these measures caused Choate’s accident—were without
factual foundation. Tr. 147-49, 153. Dr. Berg had not considered a number of issues
bearing on the feasibility of those projects, such as an accurate analysis of the cost, the
need for approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission, coordination with adjacent
municipalities and property owners, and compliance with environmental, accessibility,
and zoning regulations. C3383-3464.
At trial, defendants presented expert testimony questioning whether the
improvements suggested by Dr. Berg could be constructed at all, much less at a
reasonable cost, given a host of factors that Dr. Berg failed to consider. E.g., Tr. 1311