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$1.51 Million Railroad Injury Verdict Awarded in New Orleans

A young railroad worker with a lot to live for was permanently injured in a terrible work related injury in New Orleans (LA). The client was a 33-year-old bridge repair worker who had been earning about $40,000 a year before a 1,600 pound timber smashed and partly crushed his lower leg on the bridge. The orthopedic surgeon placed a permanently implanted rod through his lower leg attached by screws at the top and bottom and he embarked on a long course of physical therapy which actually totaled over 100 sessions over the next nine months. His doctor gave him restrictions that essentially disqualified him from his job. 

He then made a very smart decision and hired our law firm's experienced Virginia (VA) railroad worker Injury and FELA attorney Richard N. Shapiro. This injury was so devastating that it not only limited him physically but also affected his future job opportunities. He went from earning $40,000 a year to earning merely the minimum wage while working for a used car operation and is now left with a permanent limp and a cane.  

So far two failed mediations had already taken place in the railroad injury case. The highest offer the defense had offered was less than $400,000 so our team proceeded to trial. In a twist of fate, 25 days before the trial was to begin, the railroad and its contractor that had been swinging the bridge timber both admitted liability.

We moved in limine (a motion made before or during a trial requesting that the judge rule that certain evidence may, or may not, be introduced to the jury in a trial) to be able to discuss exactly when liability was admitted and to be able to discuss some circumstances of how the accident happened despite defendants objections. We obtained an order giving us the right to discuss the denial in the answer and the date of admission of liability.

The defense attorney attacked everything including; gaps in care, treatment. They even went as far as to say that the permanent rod in his leg amounted to nothing more than "just a broken leg" To prove their point they attacked the client because he was able to take a vacation once a year with his wife.

A key moment during the trial was when Richard Shapiro, asked the client if he felt guilty about taking that very same vacation to visit his wife's family that the defense had grilled him over. Rick's sarcasm was duly noted by the jury and they seemed to nod in agreement. 

The moment of truth finally came when the registered nurse held the verdict form and announced a $1.516 million verdict that delivered a story book ending to this railroad injury case in favor of our client.

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