Our clients are usually down and out after a serious accident, struggling financially, physically, and emotionally. We take pride in advocating for the downtrodden and injured and getting the financial restitution they are owed.
Since 1985, the lawyers affiliated with Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn have dedicated their practice to helping people when they need it most. Our clients are usually down and out after a serious accident, struggling financially, physically, and emotionally. We take pride in advocating for the downtrodden and injured and getting the financial restitution they are owed.
The firm was founded by Eddie Wilson, a former Norfolk Southern Railroad worker who got hurt, went to law school at the University of Richmond, and became a lawyer, primarily catering to injured railroad workers. The firm moved from Ghent in Norfolk, Virginia to its present location at 1294 Diamond Springs Road, Virginia Beach, Virginia by 1990, practicing as “Wilson & Hajek” (former partner Francis Hajek). In 1993, Rick Shapiro left a Virginia Beach law firm and joined the group. Shapiro’s arrival marked an expansion of the firm’s practice areas to include auto accidents, tractor-trailer accidents, etc. Randy Appleton joined the firm in 2006. Eric Washburn was elevated to partner in 2020. Previous partners with the firm, Jim Lewis and Kevin Duffan, have gone on to accept prestigious judicial appointments. As you can tell, our firm has gone through changes over the years, but we’ve never wavered in our commitment to excellence, diversity, inclusion, and equal rights for all.
Notable case results
During the mid-1990s, the firm represented a quadriplegic railroad worker and obtained what was then the largest reported settlement for a railroad worker nationwide, against CSX. The terms of the settlement were confidential.
DISCLAIMER: CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. CASE RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE UNDERTAKEN BY THIS LAW FIRM.
In 2001 one of the firm’s attorneys along with co-counsel obtained a record-setting $46 million jury verdict in Manassas, Virginia Circuit Court against Norfolk Southern in a railroad derailment, brain injury to plaintiff case. With interest, the verdict was $60 million. The case verdict went up on appeal, and was settled confidentially with Norfolk Southern.
Since our inception, the firm had many notable settlements and verdicts in railroad injury law, brain injury cases, medical malpractice, and trucking injury cases, including:
- In 2010, Rick Shapiro and co-counsel obtained an $8.6 million verdict in a Tennessee state court, the negligence findings of the jury were later affirmed by the Tennessee Supreme Court and a new trial on damages was ordered during 2015. The case was settled against CSX Railroad for a confidential sum.
- In 2012, firm attorneys Randy Appleton and Jim Lewis negotiated a tractor trailer claim involving brain injury to a young girl that resulted in a $21 million annuity payout settlement, with a 5.5 M present value settlement.
- In 2015, firm attorney Rick Shapiro and co-counsel obtained a $2.5 million verdict in Norfolk Federal Court for a wrongful death claim of a man who burned to death while using a ride-on lawnmower. The verdict was affirmed on appeal at the Fourth Circuit and the judgment amount was later paid by the defendants.
- In 2019, firm attorneys Randy Appleton and Rick Shapiro obtained a $5 million dollar verdict in a Norfolk, VA Circuit Court in a wrongful death asbestosis claim against Norfolk Southern, with a comparative negligence reduction of 80 percent, for a net $1 million dollar verdict, then settled confidentially.
- In 2021, firm attorneys Rick Shapiro and Eric Washburn obtained a $1.6 million jury verdict in a Virginia Beach, VA circuit court in a medical malpractice/brain injury personal injury case. In a second medical malpractice wrongful death case, we were able to negotiate a settlement totaling $1.2 million. The same year, Rick Shapiro (along with co-counsel) settled a railroad FELA lung disease case for $1 million.
Types of cases we handle each and every day
Below is a sampling of the types of cases we handle each and every day for clients in Virginia, North Carolina, and across the Eastern United States:
- Car accidents
- Trucking injury cases
- Brain injury claims
- Medical malpractice & nursing home abuse/neglect cases
- Railroad injury cases
Where we practice
Our firm attorneys are licensed to practice law in Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. All of the firm attorneys are active in local, state and or national trial lawyer organizations, and each of our attorneys have active involvement with charitable organizations outside of their involvement as practicing lawyers.