RESULTS: $400,000 (confidential terms)
COURT: Court location confidential
DATE: Fall, 2022
ATTORNEYS: Richard N. Shapiro
STAFF: Paula S.
Our client was a 57-year-old railroad worker who was a foreman at a railroad yard. There was a particular piece of equipment (confidential) that was not working correctly and which had been written up by the foreman and other workers as needing repair and replacement. The item of equipment had been listed on the official safety reports for several months. When fetching certain supplies, workers were required to use the equipment despite the fact it was not working properly. The railroad worker suffered a back injury when he was trying to manipulate the equipment. The incident was immediately reported, and the worker was taken to the nearby emergency room for treatment.
As soon as our Virginia railroad injury (FELA) law firm was retained, we visited the railroad yard with our client and obtained photographs and videotape of the equipment. Further, our client made copies of the safety reports reporting the defective equipment for about three months prior to when he suffered his injury. The client also located emails where his supervisor was told about the equipment and made efforts to replace it, but the repair/replacement was delayed and was never done prior to the date he was injured.
As for his back injury, his treating physician ordered a functional capacity evaluation, where a skilled physical therapist evaluates a patient’s ability to lift and carry out the typical physical requirements of a railroad job. The therapist reported back to his physician that his back injury precluded him from returning to regular duty. He was therefore claiming extensive annual lost wages to age 70 since there is no mandatory retirement age for his prior railroad job.
While the case was pending in Court, the parties engaged in organized mediation where a retired circuit judge brought the parties together in an effort to try to resolve the case prior to the scheduled jury trial. The case was settled close to the trial date satisfactorily to our client and the railroad. Confidential terms preclude exact details here.
THE RESULTS: $400,000 settlement (confidential terms)