Verdicts & Settlements
The following is a representative recitation of some of the unique results our firm has obtained in the last several years for railroaders and other individuals injured through someone else’s negligent conduct:
$5,000,000.00 Total Settlement
Engineer, conductor and brakeman v. Railroad and trucking company (confidential settlement) – Tulsa, OK. A railroad engineer, conductor and brakeman suffered severe injuries (primarily lumbar spine injuries) in a grade crossing collision in Canadian County, OK when a dump truck hauling a load of sand drove in front of their train.
Defendant offered $300,000 to settle case. Hahnville, LA Court awarded $4,944,722 total judgment who suffered severe injuries and wrongful death in a single vehicle accident when the automobile he was riding in as a guest passenger ran off the road and struck a tree. We successfully proved that the State of Louisiana was negligent in maintaining the roadway shoulder, ultimately causing this accident.
Locomotive engineer v. Railroad and trucking company (confidential settlement) – New Orleans, LA. Engineer perished from burn injuries when the freight train he was operating collided with a gasoline tanker truck at a railroad crossing.
Lawn maintenance worker v. Insurance Co. (confidential settlement) – Laplace, LA. A lawn maintenance worker who was performing his job duties was violently struck when a trailer being towed became dislodged from its vehicle and struck our client, causing numerous spinal disc injuries and extensive medical treatment (but no surgical intervention was required).
$3,465,000.00 Total Settlement
Crew members v. Railroad (confidential settlement) – Orlando, FL. We represented several crew members of a train involved in a derailment which occurred allegedly due to defective and poorly maintained railroad tracks. Our clients suffered various physical injuries, none of which were life-threatening, and indeed none required any surgery. However, a few of these crew members required treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from the horror they experienced in this derailment.
Machine operator v. Railroad and third party contractor (confidential settlement) – New Orleans, LA. Below the knee leg amputation. Our client was a machine operator working for an independent contractor when he was violently struck by a passing train. Both the railroad and our client’s employer blamed our client for his own negligence in causing his accident during the entire case until immediately before trial, when they suddenly reversed course and decided to settle the case rather than allow a jury to determine their fate.
$2,225,000.00 Total Settlement
Engineer, fireman and conductor v. Railroad (Court Sealed Settlement) – Maryland. Our clients suffered career-ending injuries when their train was struck by another train, causing a derailment. Two of the workers required surgery, but none of the injuries were life-threatening.
$2,090,000.00 Total Settlement
Railroad crew members v. Railroad – Virginia (confidential settlements). Several on-board service workers suffered injuries when the railroad failed to give a required warning to the crew that a coupling was about to take place, and the cars coupled at great speed with an unusual, violent force. Our clients were thrown around the train upon impact and suffered various injuries, two of which were career-ending.
Railroad and trucking company offered $300,000 to settle case. Jury awarded our client, a railroad conductor, a $1,709,617 verdict against his railroad and the trucking company involved in his accident. New Orleans, LA – Crossing accident involving our client’s train and a tractor-trailer at a railroad crossing, in which our conductor suffered injuries to his shoulder and neck, requiring surgery.
$1,550,000.00 Total Settlement
Crew members v. Railroad (confidential settlement) – Maryland. Several crew members were involved in a derailment allegedly resulting from defective track, upon which defendant railroad had begun making repairs approximately one week prior to the derailment. None of the injuries to any of the crew members were catastrophic and all of them returned to their regular railroad jobs, except for one, who required knee surgery.
Conductor v. Railroad – West Palm Beach, FL. Below the knee leg amputation. Our client (a sixty-one year old conductor) was involved in a slow-speed one car derailment in a hotly contested liability case wherein our conductor was accused of violating specific railroad safety and operating rules and allegedly causing his own injuries.
Railroad offered $100,000 to settle case. Jury awarded locomotive engineer $1,500,000 verdict – Washington, D.C. Our client injured his neck when he tripped over a bucket of sand used to hold the crew room door open at railroad’s facility. Railroad contended it was not at fault and heavily disputed the extent of the engineer’s injuries, primarily a neck injury which required surgery.
$1,300,000.00 Total Settlement
Crew members v. Railroad and trucking company (confidential settlement) – Mississippi. We represented five crew members who were injured when their train struck a truck which allegedly improperly blocked the railroad tracks and caused a grade crossing collision. None of the crew members’ injuries were life-threatening, and all returned to their regular railroad jobs except for one (a sixty-four year old train attendant who suffered a back injury, but did not require surgery).
Conductor v. Railroad (confidential settlement) – Louisiana. Partial foot amputation. Our client slipped on allegedly uncontrolled vegetation near railroad tracks and roadbed which caused him to fall, resulting in his right foot being partially amputated by the unexpected movement of a train.
Locomotive engineer v. Railroad and Trucking company – Alabama. Engineer was operating a freight train involved in a crossing collision with a tractor trailer. Our client jumped from the moving train and suffered fractures to his ankle, requiring surgery and rendering him unable to return to railroad employment.
Railroad and Industry offered $35,000 to settle case. Jury awarded $1,020,000 verdict to railroad conductor and switchman injured in Louisiana. Our clients suffered inhalation injuries when they were allegedly exposed to noxious chemicals in an industry while performing railroad duties. Defendants collectively claimed that our clients were grossly exaggerating their inhalation injuries from this exposure – – – The jury clearly disagreed.
Locomotive engineer v. Railroad (confidential settlement) – Alabama. Our client was sitting on a locomotive when a runaway boxcar rammed into the locomotive unexpectedly, causing lumbar injuries and surgery.
Locomotive engineer v. Railroad (confidential settlement) – Georgia. Engineer was involved in a slow speed derailment and required lumbar surgery, preventing his return to work in his railroad job.
Railroad offered $0.00 to settle case. South Carolina jury awarded our client $772,000 verdict for cumulative trauma injuries to his hands and feet suffered over a 30 plus year career at the railroad. The railroad completely denied any liability and refused to ever make any offer in this case before the jury reached its verdict. Following the verdict and while on appeal, the case settled for a confidential amount.
Locomotive engineer v. Railroad and Trucking Co. (confidential settlement) – New Orleans, LA. Our client was injured in a grade crossing collision with an 18-wheeler, required neck surgery and was unable to return to work at the railroad.
Case settled after four days of trial in Columbia, SC. Engineer was delivering freight cars to a local industry, when a vinyl strip that was hanging down from a warehouse opening struck his head, resulting in a disabling neck injury. The court granted a directed verdict on liability for our client following the fourth day of trial, and the railroad settled for $700,000.
Locomotive engineer v. Railroad (confidential settlement) – South Carolina. Engineer was involved in a grade crossing accident in South Carolina and suffered back injuries which did not require any surgery, but did prevent him from returning to work in his railroad job.
Switchman v Railroad – New Orleans, La. Our client attempted to throw a switch that was spiked but had no warning tag, suffering a low back injury which prevented his return to work.
Conductor v. Railroad – Washington, D.C. Our client attempted to manually straighten a drawhead between railroad cars which did not couple automatically as designed upon impact and suffered lumbar injuries, requiring surgery and rendering him unable to return to work as a conductor.
$600,000.00 Combined Settlements
Locomotive engineer v. Railroad (confidential settlements) – New Orleans, LA. We represented an engineer who suffered an ankle injury, requiring surgery when he allegedly tripped in uncontrolled vegetation adjacent to a railroad track. We further alleged in a separate action that this engineer suffered from cancer related to years of exposure to carcinogenic agents in several industries in which he worked while performing his engineer job duties. The railroad feverishly denied liability in both actions, but the cases ultimately settled for $600,000.
Conductor v. Railroad – Hampton, SC. We represented a conductor who was injured while attempting to line a retarder tower railroad switch, which we alleged was defective and stiffened unexpectedly, causing our conductor to injure his lumbar spine and undergo surgery. The railroad denied that the accident ever happened, but eventually settled the case for $556,000.
Engineer v Railroad and Trucking Co – Alabama. We represented a locomotive engineer who was injured and unable to return to work following a crossing accident.
Engineer v Railroad – Alabama. We represented a Locomotive Engineer who was injured when the train he was sideswiped by another train during a yard switching movement.
Switchman v Railroad – South Carolina. We represented a switchman who was injured during a coupling operation suffering a partial amputation of several toes which did not prevent his recovery and return to work.
Conductor v. Railroad (confidential settlement) – Washington, D.C. In an unusual case, we represented a conductor who contracted a rare disease called goodpasture syndrome. After some research and discussion with a medical expert, we decided to file a lawsuit against the railroad blaming this disease on the conductor’s many years of inhaling noxious toxins (including diesel fumes) emitted from locomotive engines in and around the areas he worked and took breaks. After a contentious discovery period in which the railroad vehemently denied liability, the railroad agreed to settle the case for $500,000.
Conductor v. Railroad – Baltimore, MD. We represented a conductor who fell down the stairs of a railroad car after it allegedly abruptly came to a stop with absolutely no warning to our client. Our conductor suffered lumbar injuries which did not require surgery, but prevented his continuing in his career at the railroad.
Railroad offered $50,000 to settle case. Court in New Orleans, LA awards $490,335.39 verdict to a yard foreman who was injured when the ground upon which he was walking allegedly “gave way” in the railroad yard. Our client suffered an injury to his ankle and foot and required surgery to remove a cyst. The railroad appealed the Court’s ruling, but the Court of Appeals upheld the verdict in favor of our client.
Train attendant v. Railroad – New Orleans, LA. We represented a train attendant who suffered a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder when he attempted to drop a heavy bag of laundry from the second level of a railroad car down to the first level. Our client underwent shoulder surgery and was unable to resume his railroad employment.
Conductor v. Railroad – Richmond, VA. Our conductor claimed to have tripped and fallen when his foot “clipped” a rut in the carpet on one of the steps in the stairwell of the train upon which he was working. He allegedly lost his balance and swung awkwardly when grabbing the railing adjacent to the steps, injuring his back in the process. He underwent lumbar surgery and was unable to return to his regular railroad job. The railroad denied that the un-witnessed accident ever happened.
Service attendant v. Railroad (confidential settlement) – Philadelphia, PA. Our client suffered an alleged knee injury when her train “lurched” more violently than it typically would. Our client suffered a knee injury and required a total knee replacement surgery. The railroad argued that lurches are a natural part of railroading, and that our client’s injuries clearly pre-existed this incident (if indeed any incident occurred at all).
Conductor v. Railroad – Cumberland, MD. Our conductor was working on a train which collided into the rear of another train in Maryland, allegedly because of a failure to observe and/or obey a restricted signal indication. Our fifty-seven year old client was treated for lower back pain and was unable to return to his railroad job, but he did not undergo any surgery.
Oil company offered $50,000 to settle case. Jury in New Orleans, LA awarded a $433,000 verdict to our client, an offshore worker who suffered a back injury when he tripped over a “valve stem” which was allegedly protruding from the floor of the rig upon which he was working. The oil company argued that the accident was 100% our client’s fault, as it was his job to remove any hazards or obstructions (if indeed any really existed) from the floor of the rig. Interestingly, the oil company originally offered $100,000 to settle this case, and subsequently reduced its offer to $50,000 before the jury rendered its $433,000 verdict.
Conductor v. Railroad – Baltimore, MD. Our client was injured when she slipped in untreated black ice while walking along the platform in a railroad station. This conductor required surgery to her knee and was unable to return to work in her regular railroad job, opting instead for an alternate position at the railroad.
Carman v. Railroad – New Orleans, LA. Our client was lifting an end of train (EOT) device in order to place it on the rear of a train when he allegedly injured his neck, requiring surgery. The railroad vehemently denied that plaintiff even had an accident at work, arguing instead that he only claimed an on-the-job injury after he was summoned to his supervisor’s office for missing work without proper authority. Nonetheless, the railroad paid $400,000 to settle the case.
Locomotive engineer v. Railroad – New Orleans, LA. Our client alleged injuries to his back from two separate accidents – – – the first which occurred when he slipped and fell on a patch of ice on a dirt road adjacent to a railroad platform; and the second when he stepped in a hole in a railroad terminal. The railroad strenuously argued that our fifty-eight year old client clearly suffered from pre-existing back injuries which required well over 100 chiropractic visits over a twenty-five year period prior to these two accidents.
Conductor v. Railroad – Washington, D.C. Our conductor injured his shoulder (requiring rotator cuff repair surgery) when he attempted to assist a passenger with an allegedly overweight piece of luggage as she boarded the train. The railroad argued that our client did not timely report his accident and it was, therefore, impossible to ever determine the weight of this allegedly heavy bag. It further argued that our client violated several safety rules in using improper lifting techniques in causing his own accident.
Baggage handler v. Railroad (confidential settlement) – Washington, D.C. Our client dismounted a train and stepped into a broken/cracked area of concrete, causing him to violently fall and injure his back. While this baggage handler did not require any surgery, he was unable to return to his railroad job. The railroad claimed that our client suffered no real injuries (and it completely denied that he even fell at all), and the railroad’s doctor opined that there was absolutely nothing wrong with our client’s back nor any reason why he could not return to his railroad job.
Railroad Chef v. Railroad (confidential settlement) – New York, NY. Our client injured his back while hurriedly attempting to load stock onto his train for an immediate departure. The railroad denied any liability and claimed that this chef used improper lifting techniques and violated company rules by attempting to do his job in a hurry. Our client did not undergo any surgery, but was unable to return to his chef’s job. In addition to a $350,000 settlement, the railroad also agreed in writing as a part of the settlement to place our client in an alternate job either within or outside of the railroad.
Conductor v. Railroad (confidential settlement) – New Orleans, LA. Our client suffered cumulative trauma injuries over the course of his railroad career which we alleged caused intractable pain in his elbow, requiring surgery and precluding him from returning to his railroad job. We argued that the strenuous and repetitive nature of his job tasks (including lining switches, tying handbrakes, lifting railroad knuckles, manually moving drawheads, etc.) caused or contributed to his career-ending injuries. The railroad claimed that our client’s injuries were simply degenerative in nature and that it would be impossible to prove any causative relationship between these injuries and plaintiff’s job duties. Nonetheless, the railroad paid $300,000 to settle this case before trial.
Railroad electrical lineman-trainee v. Railroad – Newark, NJ. Our client suffered a shoulder injury, requiring surgery when she attempted to maneuver an electric drill which allegedly sprung back unexpectedly and injured her shoulder. The railroad argued that the trainee disregarded specific instructions regarding proper use of the electric drill, but we were successful in proving that the railroad had not properly trained our client in the proper procedure necessary to safely handle this drill. Following a court-ordered arbitration award of $275,000 in our client’s favor, the railroad settled the case for $290,000.
Coach cleaner v. Railroad (confidential settlement) – Washington, DC. Our client was attempting to lift and maneuver an allegedly heavy and awkward vacuum cleaner/shampoo machine on a train when he felt a sharp pain in his back. He did not undergo any surgery, but was unable to return to work at the railroad for unrelated medical reasons. The railroad argued that this coach cleaner was derelict in not seeking assistance if he thought this vacuum cleaner/shampoo machine was too heavy to move on his own, but still paid $287,500 to settle his case without any surgery.
Railroad offered $50,000 to settle case. South Carolina jury awarded $275,000 verdict to a locomotive engineer who broke his ankle while stepping from the platform on one locomotive engine to another. Our engineer lost only $6,000 in wages, did not require any surgery to his ankle and returned to full duty work at the railroad within two months of his accident.
Conductor v. Railroad – Washington, D.C. Conductor suffered a neck injury when a panel became dislodged from a ceiling on his train and struck his head. He did not require any surgery and the railroad downplayed his injuries as very minor, but the case settled for $275,000.
Locomotive engineer v. Two railroads (confidential settlement) – Maryland. Our client was the Engineer on a train which derailed, injuring several passengers and crew-members. Our engineer missed virtually no time from work and suffered very minor physical injuries, but did seek treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Despite the lack of any surgery or lost wages, the railroads settled the case for $275,000.
Railroad offered $35,000 to settle case. New Orleans, LA Jury awarded $258,000 verdict to a railroad carman who suffered injuries to his back while attempting to lift and move an end of train (EOT) device. Our client injured his back, but did not require any surgery and returned to work at the railroad. Our client had given a very incriminating recorded statement to the railroad’s claim agent in which he all but admitted that the accident was not the railroad’s fault, and the railroad relied heavily on this recorded statement at trial. However, the jury believed our client’s credibility at trial and correctly felt that he had been coerced into giving that recorded statement by a highly skilled and well-trained railroad claim agent.
New Orleans Tourist v. Insurance Company – New Orleans, LA. Our client was visiting New Orleans and decided to take a tour of the French Quarter on a mule drawn carriage. During her ride, the right front tire became dislodged from the carriage and the operator departed the carriage to fetch the tire. The mule then began sprinting down the street and our client was ejected from the unmanned carriage, landing face-down in the street. Our client suffered facial injuries, as well as injuries to her arm and shoulder.
Railroad foreman v. Railroad and third-party contractor – New York, NY. Our client suffered a broken ankle when he slipped on a crosstie in a railroad yard which was allegedly covered with ice and creosote. Our client missed five months of work (incurring $25,000 in net lost wages), but he made a full recovery and was able to return to work as a railroad foreman. Both defendants had earlier sought to have our case dismissed completely based on the “snow storm in progress” defense, wherein no recovery is allowed because a snow storm is considered an Act of God, and defendants would legally be afforded sufficient time to rectify any conditions caused by such a storm. After the judge denied these motions as meritless, both defendants contributed equally to a $212,500 settlement for our injured foreman.
Locomotive Engineer v. Railroad (confidential settlement) – Philadelphia, PA. In a very challenging liability case, we alleged that our engineer suffered cumulative trauma injuries to his neck (ultimately requiring surgery) as a result of experiencing excessive vibrations to his spine while operating the railroad’s E-60 engines over a very brief (two month) period. The railroad argued that it was impossible to develop these disabling injuries over such a brief period of time.
Railroad police officer v. Railroad (confidential settlement) – Maryland. Female police officer was allegedly subjected to sexual harassment and unwanted touching at the hands of several of her railroad supervisors. We filed both an EEOC and FELA claim on her behalf and were successful in obtaining a $200,000 recovery for her in Federal Court. The railroad had of course denied any wrongdoing on behalf of these accused supervising officers.
Conductor v. Railroad (confidential settlement) – New York, NY. We represented a conductor who allegedly sustained shoulder injuries when he was assaulted by an off-duty railroad police officer. The railroad defended this officer by claiming he had done nothing wrong and that no assault took place, and further that our conductor’s shoulder injuries were clearly pre-existing. The conductor missed five months of work (incurring $25,000 in net lost wages), but was able to return to work thereafter in his regular conductor’s job.
Conductor v. Railroad (confidential settlement) – New York, NY. Our conductor was walking in a railroad yard when he stepped on a metal grate which gave way and the conductor fell into a hole which was a few feet deep. The Conductor suffered injuries to his knee and back, but did not require any surgery and returned to work after eight months (and $32,000 in net lost wages).
On-board service attendant v. Railroad (confidential settlement) – New York, NY. Train attendant allegedly injured her back when her train suddenly “lurched” and she was thrown against a wall. Railroad claimed no liability because our client did not immediately report any accident and because “lurches” are simply a well-known and expected risk regularly encountered by both workers and passengers on trains. Our client did not undergo any surgery but missed several months of work, and the case settled for $150,000.
Conductor v. Railroad – Pennsylvania. We represented a conductor who was allegedly wrongfully attacked and arrested by several railroad police officers after engaging in playful conduct with one of the officer’s police dogs. Our conductor suffered very minor physical injuries but was embarrassed and humiliated by the officers’ conduct in arresting him in front of several of his co-employees.
Railroad offered $15,000 to settle case. New Orleans, LA jury awarded $127,500 verdict to our railroad brakeman who suffered a knee injury, requiring orthoscopic surgery. Our client was allegedly injured when he stepped on something while walking in ballast adjacent to a railroad track, but he was unsure of what he stepped on. The railroad argued to the jury that the brakeman was not entitled to a verdict because we could not prove exactly what condition caused him to injure his knee, or even that an accident had indeed occurred. The jury clearly disagreed with the railroad.
Locomotive engineer v. Railroad – New York, NY. We represented an engineer who fractured his thumb when it was caught in the door of his engine as he attempted to close the door. Our client underwent thumb surgery and lost $20,000 in net wages, and the railroad paid $125,000 to settle the case. The railroad had earlier argued that our engineer was 100% at fault in causing his own injuries for simply not paying attention as he brought the door to a close on his own thumb.
On-board service attendant v. Railroad and Trucking company (confidential settlement) – Mississippi. Train attendant was injured when his train was involved in a grade crossing collision with a truck which was blocking the railroad crossing. Our client suffered very minor physical injuries, but alleged post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) emanating from the accident. He returned to work at the railroad after losing only a few days of work and approximately $1,000 in wages, and we successfully resolved the case for $100,000.
Conductor v. Railroad – Wilmington, DE. We represented an on-board conductor who was allegedly pushed off of the train by a passenger as the train was preparing to depart the station. Our conductor suffered minor back injuries (not requiring any surgery) and post-traumatic stress from being pushed off of the train. The railroad settled the case for $100,000 and the option for our client to choose a different job at the railroad for a period of up to six months, but our client chose to return to work as a conductor.