We represented an employee of a railroad who suffered numerous shoulder and arm injuries as a result of a brake wheel "kicking back" when he attempted to manually release it. Our client and his engineer were preparing to depart with the train at the beginning of their run. Our client had to release two hand brakes on the two lead cars and the train. The hand brake on the lead car released without a problem; however, the hand brake on the second car was difficult to release. As he pulled the brake wheel toward him, it suddenly released and our client felt a pop in his arm.
Injury Worsens Leading to Multiple Surgeries
Our client developed problems with his arm over the subsequent days and was ultimately unable to return to his job due to his injuries. He ultimately underwent several surgeries. As his medical care was lengthy, we filed suit and moved toward trial.
Taking on the Big Railroads
Our law firm has decades of experience battling with large railroad companies like CSX, Norfolk Southern, etc. This experience means we know what they typically try to do to undermine a legitimate personal injury claim.
The railroad conducted post-incident inspections of the car which it believed had been involved in the incident. Our client did not file a report specifically providing the number of the car upon which he was injured; however, he was able to identify its position in the consist. Based on reconstruction of the movements of the car subsequent to the injuries, the parties were able to reach conclusions as to which car our client was on at the time of his injuries.
After depositions of co-workers, doctors and an unsuccessful mediation session, we were able to resolve the case for a confidential sum just prior to trial. Had we proceeded to trial, we were prepared to offer the testimony of our client's treating physicians through depositions and the testimony of a former employee of the Federal Railroad Administration who had reviewed records and testimony related to the plaintiff's injuries and he was prepared to testify that the brake wheel failed to operate as anticipated at the time of our client's injuries which was a violation of the federal Safety Appliance Act.