Virginia FELA Lawyer Talks About Historic Railroad Injury Verdict | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

In October 2000, a Manassas, Virginia (VA) state court jury returned a $46 million verdict. With interest owed, the verdict totaled $60 million. This was one of the largest railroad or brain injury verdict in Virginia’s history.

The massive verdict was against Norfolk Southern (NS) Railway Co, and in favor or Donald French, a gas station manager.  The NS railroad train derailed at a switch set in the wrong direction, and went careening into the gas station building, toppling its walls onto French who was pinned in the rubble and suffered major orthopedic injuries and a traumatic brain injury (TBI). 

Shapiro & Appleton, railroad/FELA injury attorneys teamed with Steve Smith, a Hampton, VA based trial attorney, to convince the Northern VA jury of the magnitude of the injuries. Our Virginia-based railroad/FELA lawyers investigated the railroad issues and  determined that a prior NS crew had left the railroad switch in the wrong position, leaving the train vulnerable to the derailment and that the careless crew’s acts constituted negligence under railroad industry standards. 

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NS attacked several legal issues on the case evidence, and ultimately appealed the verdict to the Virginia Supreme Court at which time the case was settled, but NS required that the amount of settlement remain confidential, which we often resist. However, since the accident facts remain public, our client authorized that solely the amount of the settlement remained confidential.If you or someone you know was seriously hurt to the careless actions of a railroad company, speak to an attorney to discuss your legal options. We aren’t allowed to say we’re the best Virginia injury law firm to handle your case, but we can point to our results as proof that we know how to take on a big corporation in the court room.