$1.538 Million Federal Jury Verdict in Railroad Switching Collision
NOPB Engineer Sustains Multiple Injuries During Switching Operations -
Louisiana Jury Returns $1.538 Million Verdict.
The Plaintiff, an engineer, was assigned the task of assisting with switching operations at the Cotton Warehouse Yard on Track 18. According to Plaintiff, an incorrect count was made of the number of railcars that Plaintiff was required to couple his train. Moreover, no "safety stop" was made before Plaintiff was given the instruction to complete a shoving movement. The result was that Plaintiff slammed into a standing cut of cars. The ensuing abrupt stop resulted in injuries to Plaintiff’s spine, back, legs, and teeth. Plaintiff filed suit in Federal Court, advancing a number of theories of liability: failure to provide a reasonably safe place to work; failure to provide proper equipment; failure to provide sufficient assistance; and failure to exercise due care. The railroad denied liability. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Plaintiff for $1.538 million.
Glenn Belle v. New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Commission, U.S. District Court E.D. Louisiana No. 09-2757. Ben B. Saunders, Joseph M. Miller, Carisa R. German-Oden of Davis-Saunders, Mandeville, LA for Plaintiff. William H. Howard, III, Baker, Donelson, Beannan, Caldwell & Berkowitz, New Orleans, LA for Defendant.