By John Cooper, FELA Injury Lawyer
Working on the railroad often involves daily exposure to heavy moving parts that can kill, crush or maim even at low speeds. Railroad workers are always acutely aware of the dangers of crush injuries and the impact these kinds of accidents can have on their lives.
Recently a case brought by a seriously injured conductor against Union Pacific was settled. All cases are different and we cannot guarantee the result of any given case, but this litigation was settled for just under $7 million.
FELA Reporter noted the 29-year-old conductor was severely injured after he received a radio instruction to “get on up” a railcar as it was pushed by a locomotive at the U.S. Silica Plant in Pacific, Missouri in April 2014.
Although a number of “Close Clearance” signs were posted at the site, the conductor was not able to see them because they were obscured by the utility poles and the train.
Crush Injuries Included Broken Ribs and Other Bones
The conductor attempted to climb on top of the train before it passed the silo but he was unsuccessful. He was crushed between the train and the silo, suffering clavicle, nose, pelvis and femur fractures as well as breaks to vertebrae and several ribs. His liver was lacerated, his bladder was ruptured and his urethra was detached. He needed eight surgeries to correct his many injuries.
As well as his immediate problems, the report stated he may require a hip replacement and a penile implant in the future. These are serious and shocking injuries to occur to a young railroad worker.
He was unable to return to work because of the severity of his crush injuries. He suffers from PTSD and sexual dysfunction, as a result of the accident.
While Union Pacific initially denied liability, the case settled for $6.986 million about two months before a trial. The plaintiff in the case was represented by Jerome Schlichter, Nelson Wolff and Andrew D. Schlichter of St Louis, MO.
The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) protects workers who are injured on the railroad. In many cases, railroad workers are given instructions to do things that may damage their health. In another recent case, a signalman in his early forties was awarded $128,000 after he aggravated an existing shoulder injury when he was told to move a heavy transformer.
You should not agree to a dangerous task on the railroad. However, there are many inherent risks of working on the railroad, and you may not always realize the danger of a task you are being asked to do. If you are injured on the railroad, call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers for a free consultation at 866-455-6657.