Partner Steve Groves led a team that included partner Linda Powers and associate Emery Reusch at a trial held in Chariton County in North Central, MO. The Jury found that BNSF violated the Locomotive Inspection Act, FRA regulations and the FELA. Plaintiff’s damages were assessed at $2,513,000.00.
The client was an engineer operating between Ft. Madison and Kansas City on BNSF’s Transcon Line. The locomotive was a newer style wide body cab, which has a side control stand, making the area where the engineer sits very confined.
While the locomotive was stopped to allow an Amtrak train to pass, the engineer attempted to move the seat back so he could get out of the engineer’s station but due to defective bearings it would not move and he injured his knee and back when pushing with his legs.
Following the incident, the locomotive was examined by a cab inspector, who found that four bearings on the seat were worn out and seized up, and one bearing was snapped off, which prevented the seat from moving properly. He replaced the bearings in the seat and sent the train on its way.
BNSF, through the director of locomotive cabs, denied that there was anything wrong with the seat or that the bearings were defective and claimed that plaintiff broke them because of his weight and by pushing back too hard. BNSF also claimed that the client’s problems were due to all pre-existing conditions and that he could go back to some kind of work.
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.