WHAT HAPPENED: A railroad engineer was operating a locomotive engine when fire suddenly broke out from the engine area causing sudden flame and smoke in the engine cab. The engineer was forced to exit the locomotive cab and to quickly dismount from the engine and at the time of dismounting or in falling from the moving engine, he suffered an arm and hand injury. The delicate orthopedic surgery left him with a significant impairment with his right hand and ultimately his surgeon medically disqualified him from working as a locomotive engineer.
LEGAL STRATEGY: First, our firm conducted a corporate representative deposition of the railroad and investigated all the locomotive inspection reports and documents and determined that there was a known defect with regard to the engine. Based on the materials reviewed and the depositions, our firm asserted that the railroad was strictly liable to our client because it violated the Locomotive Inspection Act. We also analyzed and presented key evidence at the mediation, including fire or flame damage to the engineer's grip. We also carefully created medical illustrations showing the anatomical injuries to our client's wrist and hand. Finally, we obtained an economic analysis of the engineer's lost wages, as well as a vocational counselor's report on the substantial lost income because the engineer would be forced to retrain for some other occupation.