- Client suffered a below the knee amputation as a result of his leg going over the rail after he slipped and fell and a car rolling over it. The train cauterizes the wound which is why the client normally is able to survive.
- Liability: Unwitnessed and employees are never supposed to have any body parts within the rails while railcars are moving.
- Settlement: $5,000,000 pre-suit.
Train Tractor-Trailer Collision
- Non-FELA case as it was a suit against the tractor trailer company for its employee putting its vehicle on the tracks. Admitted Negligence.
- Client 1 waited 4 months to get treatment. L4-5 and L5-S1 disc protrusions. Non-surgical.
- Pre-Trial Offer: $500,000. Verdict: $250,000.
- Client 2: T5-6 disc herniation. Previous back injury in a car accident two years prior. Client had spinal cord stimulator. Client went into septic shock and
had unit removed.
- Pre-Trial Offer: $350,000. Verdict: $2,576,069.
Defective Switch Case
- Client was throwing a switch when it locked up at 90 degrees.
- Liability: Ballast had built up in the “crib” causing it to not work properly (admitted by RR).
- Issues: Notice must be proven and contributory negligence for client over exerting. RR argued rocks falling into the “crib” does not give rise to notice. RR complied with required inspections.
- Injury: L5-S1 Herniation.
- Treatment: Spinal Cord Stimulator.
- Settlement: $500,000.
Defective Remote Control
- Client was riding the rear of a train and operating it with the use of a remote control unit. The battery fell out of the unit causing the train to apply the emergency brake thereby throwing the client off the train.
- Liability: Defective remote control unit.
- Issues: Defense alleged no notice, he failed to inspect the unit and/or he dislodged it himself to go home early.
- Injury: C4-5 and C6-7 Disc Protrusion.
- Treatment: Injections and Pain Management.
- Settlement: $450,000.
Broken Sill Step
- Client was standing on a sill step that was improperly bolted on causing him to fall off the rail car.
- Liability: Admitted Strict Liability.
- Injury: Client had L4 vertebrae fracture with spinal cord stimulator recommendation.
- Issue: Client stopped treatment and would not get recommended surgery.
- Treatment: Two injections and no further treatment.
- Settlement: $525,000.
Broken Brake Stick
- Client was utilizing a brake stick that broke causing him to fall backward.
- Liability: Unwitnessed. Metallurgist (defense and plaintiff) concluded it was a traumatic fracture evidencing misuse.
- Client went to the ER four days prior with same back complaints.
- Injuries: MRI findings L4-5 herniation.
- Treatment: Fusion Surgery.
- Settlement: $350,000.
- *NO SUBROGATION ON FELA CASES WHEN NO THIRD PARTY INVOLVEMENT.
Slip and Fall
- Client, 61 year-old, pulled on the bleed rod to release air from the car. The rod was stuck and wet from rain causing his hand to slip off and client to fall backward on the loose ballast.
- Injuries: C5-6 Herniation, Rotator Cuff Tear, Bicep Tendon Tear.
- Liability: Very difficult. No evidence the bleed rod was defective.
- Reached MMI and returned to work after 11 months.
- Settlement: $250,000.
Misaligned Drawhead on Private Yard
- Client overexerted himself trying to align a drawhead.
- Liability: Coupler defects result in strict liability but there was a witness who alleged the client was violating RR rules by using a tool to straighten the draw head when it wouldn’t move freely.
- Issues: Client continued working for two days before reporting the incident.
- Injury: L5-S1 Herniation.
- Treatment: Hemilaminectomy.
- $58,000 in lost wages.
- Settlement: $155,000 pre-suit