On Tuesday Nov. 21, 2017 the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the verdict and decision of the court of appeals in Hays v. BNSF.
Mr. Hays, a contractor working for BNSF, was helping lay rail on BNSF’s tracks with a BNSF rail production gang while operating a weld truck. The weld truck, which is a box truck with a platform and remote control mounted on the side of it, was being operated by Mr. Hays when it ran into a pile of rocks that had fallen off a cut in the hillside next to the tracks. He was knocked out of the truck, and then run over by the machine, suffering significant injuries, resulting in multiple surgeries. His past wage loss was $25,000 and medical bills were around $485,000. BNSF claimed that they did not control Hays’ work, and denied negligence, claiming that it was Hays’ fault for running the platform into a pile of rocks next to the tracks. The jury saw otherwise and came back with a verdict for $4,400,000 with 100% fault on the railroad.
Hays v. BNSF was tried in Farmington, MO by Steven L. Groves and Linda C. Powers. The Court of Appeals for the Eastern District Affirmed with a non-published opinion in June 2017 and thereafter denied transfer/rehearing (More info Here). Now The Missouri Supreme Court has affirmed the verdict and decision of the Court of Appeals upholding the verdict when it denied BNSF’s application for transfer.
Steven L. Groves is a plaintiff’s attorney successfully handling FELA claims for 25 years. If you or anyone you know has been injured while working for a railroad company, contact Steve for a free consultation to see if you may have a FELA claim.