Our client, a lead service attendant for a large railroad, was thrown about and knocked unconscious while riding on an Amtrak train during a trip from Union Station in Los Angeles to Seattle. The accident took place in the vestibule (the area between the cars) just outside of a sleeping car. The railroad employee suffered an aggravation of underlying degenerative discs in his neck.
Under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), a railroad has a duty to provide a safe place to work. If the railroad’s negligence plays any part, even the slightest, in producing an injury, the employee is entitled to compensation from the railroad. Under the FELA, a railroad’s negligence is considered to be a cause of the injury even if there are several causes that combine to cause the injury.
Through discovery, we learned that a month prior to the accident, someone had reported a problem with the car to the railroad, but the railroad took no action to correct it. One railroad employee testified in her deposition that she had reported the condition because the car was a rough rider and scared her. We successfully recovered $300,000 for our client.