Fall and Back Injury on the Job Results in Confidential Settlement for Train Conductor | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

What Happened

Our Virginia-based railroad injury law firm’s client suffered disabling back injuries when he fell while exiting a locomotive at night. The train conductor missed a step due to a burnt-out step light.

Repairing the damage to the conductor’s spine required surgery, but his doctors subsequently declared him permanently disabled. The worksite fall and its consequences eventually caused the injured railroad worker to involuntarily end his 20-plus-year career working on trains.

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Key Legal Strategy

After the railroad refused to settle work-related injury and disability claims submitted by its former conductor, our railroad injury attorney filed a lawsuit in South Carolina under the Federal Employers Liability Act. That law, which is commonly shortened to FELA, makes railroads strictly liable for compensating any employer who suffers an injury or becomes sick as a result of the company violating a safety law.

Allowing the step light to burn out and failing to replace it constituted a violation of the Federal Locomotive Inspection Act. Despite this, the railroad that had employed our client continued to deny any liability and took its defense all the way to trial.

We needed just a single day of testimony to convince the railroad to offer a major settlement, which the injured and disabled former train conductor accepted on the condition that he keep the terms confidential.

FELA protects railroad employees all across the country, so our Virginia-based injury and wrongful death attorneys will travel to fight for the rights of train, track and rail yard workers. We have extensive experience in helping clients with back, neck and repetitive stress injury cases.