Robert Avery, et al v. Metro-North
Largest wrongful death verdict in Connecticut history.
Louis Cevasco v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., et al
$8 million settlement for contractor working in the tunnel at Penn Station whose leg was crushed by a runaway crane.
Herbert Renert v. Metro-North
63-year-old foreman with double leg amputation.
Michelle Pieger, Administratrix for the Estate of Jeffrey Michael Pieger v. Metro-North Railroad Company
Largest federal case settlement under FELA (Federal Employers' Liability Act) for a wrongful death.
Diane Ard, Executrix for Estate of Robert J. Ard Jr. v. Metro-North Railroad
$4.3 million FELA wrongful death jury verdict (reduced to $3.2 million for contributory negligence).
Neil Pace v. Amtrak
Cahill, Goetsch & Perry partners George Cahill and Scott Perry obtained a significant jury verdict against Amtrak on behalf of a conductor who tripped on buffer plates while walking between rail cars. The ensuing fall caused two herniated discs, requiring a laminectomy and leaving him with chronic low back pain.
We claimed that Amtrak improperly maintained the buffer plates, and demanded production of the Railroad's maintenance and inspection reports. However, Amtrak destroyed those reports despite knowing of the accident and conducting video surveillance of the employee. We went to trial and persuaded the judge to give the jury a spoliation charge. The judge instructed the jury that because Amtrak destroyed the records, they may infer that those records would have been harmful to Amtrak's position in the case. The jury returned a verdict of $2.67 million against Amtrak (reduced by contributory negligence), rejecting the railroad's argument that our client should have accepted work at distant locations requiring unpaid commuting time that would take him away from time with his children.
This case stands as a grim warning to railroads that think they can take advantage of injured employees by destroying records and evidence relevant to their injury cases.
John Fitzpatrick v. National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Terence Curly v. Metro-North
Lineman suffered from burns after being electrocuted while working on track.
Dolores Schneider v. Amtrak
This case involved an Amtrak ticket clerk who was brutally assaulted while leaving her station worksite. Since she was attacked while getting into her car parked just outside the station ticket office at the end of her shift, Amtrak moved to dismiss her FELA lawsuit on the ground that she was not acting within the scope of her railroad employment. The lower court judge agreed with Amtrak, finding that the clerk was in the process of commuting home from her worksite and thus was not entitled to claim FELA coverage. However, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the lower court in an opinion dated August 9, 1988, and reinstated the injured clerk's FELA lawsuit. In doing so, the appellate court reconfirmed the principle that "an employee traversing the employer's premises to report to or to leave the job within a reasonable time of her shift is fulfilling a function necessarily incident to employment." This is an important principle that applies to all railroad employees regardless of their craft or worksite location. If you are injured on railroad premises while reporting to or leaving your worksite, you are still entitled to make a claim for your injuries under FELA (Federal Employers' Liability Act). At the subsequent jury trial, the jury awarded the ticket clerk $1.85 million in damages.
Robert Keating v. Metro-North
35-year-old lineman with crushed ankle/foot.
On November 2, 1988, a Bridgeport jury ordered Metro-North to pay $1,650,000, the highest federal jury award ever leveled against the railroad. The plaintiff was Robert Keating, a 35-year-old electrical lineman who was injured on March 9, 1987, while working on Metro-North's New Haven Division. As Keating was climbing up the rear of a high-rail car, the car began to move backwards and he slipped on a footboard covered with hydraulic oil that had been leaking there for months. Keating fell under the high-rail car's rear wheels. His left foot and ankle joint were partially crushed between the rail and the rear wheel. After several operations, Keating had the use of his foot but is disabled from his railroad job. Metro-North claimed that Keating was the cause of his injuries, but the jury flatly rejected that defense.
Robert Brady v. Amtrak
36-year-old general foreman with disc injury.
On May 12, 1989, a federal jury in Hartford, Connecticut, awarded an Amtrak general foreman $1,581,000 in damages. The plaintiff was Robert Brady, who was injured at Amtrak's New Haven Motor Storage Yard on December 11, 1986, when he slipped on an icy metal walkway. Brady and other Amtrak workers had complained repeatedly that the smooth metal surface of the walkway was a slipping hazard. The railroad obtained serrated, non-slip walkway grating with which to replace the slippery walkway but failed to install it by the onset of freezing weather. Brady was injured when a misty rain froze and covered the walkway with a film of ice. Brady suffered a herniated disc in his low back and was unable to perform any long-term productive work. The railroad tried to blame Brady for his injury, but the jury ruled that he was not guilty of any contributory negligence.
Peter Quintiliani v. National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Connecticut state law personal injury jury verdict for an outside contractor worker injured when an Amtrak train entered his worksite without warning.
Ken Hall v. Metro-North
46-year-old machinist with disc injury.
On March 13, 1989, a New York City jury returned a verdict of $1,426,000 in favor of a Metro-North shop employee Kenneth Hall, a machinist working at Metro-North's Harmon Shop. On January 7, 1987, Hall slipped on an accumulation of grease, oil, and water while carrying a brake shoe from one location in the shop to another. He suffered a fractured rib, which completely healed, as well as a partially herniated disc that required a partial laminectomy. Hall lost a year and a half from work, then returned to work for three months. But he was removed from his position by the railroad because of his physical inability to do all aspects of his work without the assistance of a co-worker. He obtained employment outside of the railroad. The railroad argued at trial that it was Hall who was negligent for slipping in the oily area, but the jury found Hall did not contribute to his injuries in any way.
Kendall v. Metro-North Railroad
$1.4 million jury verdict for Metro-North foreman whose back was injured while attempting to open a defective gate in Harmon Yard.
Will Berry v. Metro-North
Foreman burned by steam leak in engine.
Scott Moran v. Metro-North Railroad
The firm's office at Croton/Harmon, New York, recently won a $1.33 million verdict from a federal jury in White Plains on behalf of a Metro-North Railroad signal trainee. Our client slipped on an embankment while trying to enter the Metro-North Signal Department headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut, sustaining two herniated discs in his lower back.
He ultimately required surgery for a fusion with insertion of metal hardware, rendering him permanently disabled from performing heavy labor.
The evidence at trial proved the Metro-North supervisor was aware that due to construction there was an unsafe condition at our client's reporting location, but that Metro-North did nothing to make accessing his headquarters reasonably safe. The railroad argued that because the injured employee fell on private property next to the railroad's property, it was not required to take action to provide a safe means of accessing the Signal Headquarters. As usual, the railroad also argued that the plaintiff was guilty of contributory negligence due to his slipping on the embankment and that he suffered from pre-existing arthritis in his spine, which it claimed was the reason for the surgery.
The jury rejected all of Metro-North's arguments in reaching its award. Prior to his injury, our client was an avid sports enthusiast who engaged in multiple sports and bodybuilding on a regular basis.
Luis Murillo v. Metro-North Railroad
FELA settlement for a trackman whose legs were broken when he was caught between two track cars.
Keith Meling v. Metro-North
38-year-old lineman who fell from utility pole.
$1.1 Million FELA Settlement Vindicates Burned Metro North Worker
After a long battle, we forced the Railroad to admit the electrical arc explosion that burned our client was its fault after all, and to pay $1.1 million to settle his case. Go to the New Haven Register for this story, a two minute video, and a copy of our expert's excellent report.
Edward Manes v. Metro-North
Signalman who fell off railroad bridge.
The Estate Ann Marie Franco v. Berg Grain and Produce, Inc.
Tractor-trailer truck accident wrongful death.
Ian Burke v. Metro-North Railroad Company
Trackman burned by defective pot welder.
Barati v. Metro North Railroad
$1 million punitive damages award in the first FRSA federal jury trial in the nation
In the first federal court jury trial of a Federal Rail Safety Act, we asked the jury to send a message to railroads across the country that the disciplining of rail workers who report injuries will no longer be tolerated, and the jury responded with an historic verdict ordering Metro North Railroad to pay $1 million in punitive damages.
For another news article, click here.
Richard Nairn v. National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Article by Michael P. Mayko published in The Bridgeport Post, February 1987
A former Amtrak foreman was awarded 765,000 by a seven-member federal court jury for a back injury he received while lifting a piece of equipment at the railroad company's yard two years ago.
The four-woman, three-man panel returned its verdict in favor of Richard Nairn to U.S. District Judge Warren W. Eginton shortly after 4:00 p.m. Their decision ended a four-day trial.
Sources at the time said the verdict was one of the largest brought against the National Railroad Passenger Corporation in recent years.
Charles Goetsch, whose firm handles numerous cases against the National Railroad Passenger Corp., charged that the railroad failed to provide a reasonable safe work area or the necessary equipment to prevent injuries.
Nairn, a 35-year-old Madison resident, was injured Dec. 26, 1984 while lifting a compressor tow bar. There was medical evidence that Nairn suffered a degenerative disc injury to his lower spine.
Goetsch said Nairn, who declined to comment on the award, no longer works for the railroad.
Charles A. Deluca, a Stamford lawyer who represented the railroad, said he would have to review the case with his client before deciding on whether to challenge the jury's verdict.
Hegarty v. Metro North Railroad
$658,000 FELA jury verdict for a conductor who suffered a knee injury
Bala v. PATH
Federal Rail Safety Act Administrative Law Judge decision establishing the principle that when employees follow their treating doctor's orders to remain off work, railroads cannot use the resulting absences for attendance discipline purposes
Peter Delvecchio v. Metro-North Railroad
Jury FELA verdict of $653,000 for a conductor with an injured foot who was back to work full time.
NJ Transit Rail Worker Wins Historic $570,000 FRSA Award
We obtained the largest award under the Federal Rail Safety Act (FRSA) against a railroad that disciplined our client in retaliation for reporting an injury.
Ralph Tagliatela, et al v. Metro North Railroad
Landmark award involving four of the first Federal Rail Safety Act anti-retaliation actions includes $300,000 in punitive damages against the Railroad (see also " 4 railroad workers win landmark ruling," June 20, 2009 New Haven Register.
Vernace v. PATH
Federal Rail Safety Act Administrative Law Judge decision establishing the principle that the mere filing of a disciplinary charge against an injured employee is an adverse action, even if the charges are later dropped and no disciplinary hearing is held
FELA Wrongful Death Settlement Against Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad MBCR
We represented the wife and a young daughter of MBCR Trackman Christopher Macaulay who was killed in the 2007 collision in Woburn Massachusetts. After extensive litigation, we were able to settle the case in which the terms and conditions are subject to a confidentiality agreement.