In the Community
2021 Canceling Cancer Scholarship
The railroad injury lawyers of Doran & Murphy, PLLC are pleased to announce the Canceling Cancer Scholarship. This scholarship is designed to support individuals who want to further their education and who have been impacted by cancer. To apply for this scholarship, submit a 750-1,000 word essay discussing how you’ve been affected by cancer and the impact it has made on you. The deadline to apply is December 31, 2021. For more details on how to apply, please visit our scholarship page.
The University at Buffalo Law School named the student lounge after the late Michael H. Doran. Mike was a 1982 graduate of the Law School, where he was known for his work ethic as well as his social activities. More on the dedication can be read here.
Doran & Murphy lawyer Michael Torcello was admitted to practice in the State of Ohio. While Mr. Torcello has been admitted to practice as a lawyer on many cases on the Cuyahoga County Asbestos Docket in Cleveland, he is now a full member of the Ohio Bar. Mr. Torcello has been admitted to the practice of law in the State of New York since 2000.
Doran & Murphy settled a case in Buffalo, New York for a deceased railroad worker who had lung cancer. The lawyers and Doran & Murphy brought a case against the undisclosed railroad alleging that the worker’s cancer was caused by diesel exhaust and asbestos exposure at the railroad.
Doran & Murphy lawyers also settled a case for a confidential amount for a Cleveland, Ohio railroad worker whose case alleged lung cancer as a result of his railroad exposures to asbestos and diesel fume exhaust.
Christopher Murphy was named Secretary/Treasurer of the AAJ Railroad Litigation Group.
The Supreme Court of the United States denied the railroad’s attempt to overturn a verdict in favor of an injured railroad worker represented by the lawyers at Doran & Murphy. Read more about this decision at
Doran & Murphy once again participated in the Ride for Roswell, to raise money for Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Roswell Park is dedicated to understanding, preventing and curing cancer. Because so many of our current and former clients are affected by cancer, this cause is one that is very important to Doran & Murphy.
$646,105 Verdict in Binghamton, NY: Attorneys Christopher Murphy & Colleen M. Blinkoff successfully represented a railroad worker for back injuries sustained in an automobile accident. The injured railroad worker was riding as a passenger in the back “jump” seat of an extended cab pick-up truck being operated by his supervisor while in the course of his employment with CSX Transportation. While waiting for a vehicle to turn left in front of them, the pick-up truck was rear-ended by another driver. Doran & Murphy, PLLC filed a lawsuit in Federal Court on behalf of the injured railroad worker against CSX Transportation, the supervisor, and the driver that rear-ended the pick-up truck. In the car wreck, the injured railroad conductor sustained low back injuries that required physical therapy, chiropractic treatment and spinal steroid injections. Prior to trial, an out of court settlement was reached with the automobile insurance companies for the supervisor and the driver that rear-ended the supervisor’s pick-up truck. Defendant CSX refused to make any offer and the case proceeded to trial. After seven days of trial, the jury returned a verdict in the amount of $646,105 in favor of the injured railroad conductor.
Doran & Murphy attorneys Christopher Murphy, Michael Torcello and Colleen M. Blinkoff were admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States. Our attorneys are committed to fighting for the rights of our clients at every stage of litigation and the appellate process.
For the fourth year in a row, Doran & Murphy sponsored the 2010 ViVA for Life Creative Black Tie Gala, a fundraiser for the Western New York Breast Resource Center at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
The Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act (H.R. 5900) was signed into law by President Obama on August 1, 2010. This law includes key airline safety provisions, including increased training for pilots and requiring airlines to proactively work to reduce pilot fatigue.
This law was championed by the families of those who lost their lives in the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 in Clarence Center, NY on February 12, 2009.
Christopher Murphy and paralegal Thomas Doran rode in the 2010 Ride for Roswellto raise money for Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Roswell Park is dedicated to understanding, preventing and curing cancer. Because so many of our current and former clients are affected by cancer, this cause is one that is very important to Doran & Murphy. Chris, Tom and several other members of the Doran & Murphy team participated in honor of our current and former clients with cancer, and in memory of the late Michael Doran, who was passionate about fundraising for cancer research.
Doran & Murphy attorney Michael Torcello won another appellate victory for railroad workers exposed to asbestos and diesel fumes while at work. Under the Ohio Asbestos Bill, an Ohio plaintiff must comply with certain criteria before his asbestos case can be heard by the Courts. However, in many cases, a railroad worker has been diagnosed with a disease (such as lung cancer) which his doctors attribute to the plaintiff’s occupational exposures to asbestos and diesel fume exhaust (i.e., it is multifactorial). In these situations, the plaintiff often brought will bring a claim for his injuries which were caused by both exposures.
Railroads operating in Ohio have attempted to get both the diesel fume exposure claim and the asbestos claim dismissed if the plaintiff can’t meet the established criteria for an asbestos case. Michael Torcello stood up to the railroads on behalf of these injured workers, and won a victory at the Supreme Court of Ohio. On May 6th, The Supreme Court of Ohio ruled that when the plaintiff in a civil lawsuit asserts both asbestos-related and non-asbestos-related (i.e., diesel fume) claims in the same tort action, the non-asbestos claims may be severed and proceed to trial immediately even though the asbestos-related claims are administratively dismissed under the Ohio Asbestos Bill.
The NTSB released its findings on the Loss of Control on Approach Colgan Air Inc., Operating as Continental Connection Flight 3407 regarding the plane crash in Clarence Center, NY on February 12, 2009.
The National Transportation Safety Board released the following determination of the probable cause of the accident:
The captain’s inappropriate response to the activation of the stick shaker, which led to an aerodynamic stall from which the airplane did not recover. Contributing to the accident were (1) the flight crew’s failure to monitor airspeed in relation to the rising position of the low-speed cue, (2) the flight crew failure to adhere to sterile cockpit procedures, (3) the captain’s failure to effectively manage the flight, and (4) Colgan Air’s inadequate procedures for airspeed selection and management during approaches in icing conditions.
Doran & Murphy attorney Colleen M. Blinkoff sat for the February 2010 Ohio Bar Exam. She was one of 226 other candidates later sworn in to practice in that state.
For the third year in a row, Doran & Murphy sponsored the 2009 ViVA for Life Creative Black Tie Gala, a fundraiser for the Western New York Breast Resource Center at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Attorney Michael Doran was a zealous advocate for those afflicted with various types of occupational cancers. In addition to his legal work, Michael also dedicated himself to helping various research institutions study the disease and develop treatments for those afflicted. In 2008, Michael and his brother Thomas participated in the Ride for Roswell, an annual bicycling event that raises awareness and money for cancer research at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Bicycling 62 miles, Michael raised over $8,000 for cancer research – the 7th highest out of the 6500 riders.
After tragically passing away in a plane crash in April of 2009 with fellow attorney and advocate for occupational cancer victims, Matthew Schnirel, Michael and Matthew’s families, friends and co-workers were determined to carry on their legacy and united to form Mike’s Rough Riders, a team of bicyclists to participate in the Ride for Roswell which took place on June 27, 2009. Michael’s brother, Thomas, led the fundraising effort, and the team collected over $17,000 to support Roswell Park Cancer Institute and an emerging new program at Roswell Park, the Stacey Scott Lung Cancer Registry. Four members of Mike’s Rough Riders coordinated to relay Michael’s bicycle through the ride this year.
Just prior to his death, Michael was working very closely with the Stacey Scott Lung Cancer Registry, a new program at Roswell Park designed to detect lung cancer at an early stage by screening those individuals who have been deemed as having a high risk for developing lung cancer. It has been shown that early detection of cancer can greatly increase one’s survival rate. This program has already been successful for two of Michael’s former clients who enrolled in the program, which detected early signs of lung cancer. Their lung cancer is now being treated with a much higher chance of survival due to early detection.
Doran & Murphy was once again involved in the Buffalo’s Smartest Company competition, a fundraising event for Cradle Beach Camp in Angola, NY. Matthew Schnirel, Colleen M. Blinkoff, Kathy Reiss, Stuart Frame and Sarah Brancatella represented the firm in the 3rd annual event. Additionally, the law firm sponsored a round of questions. The team has vowed to train tirelessly to take home the top prize next year.
Colleen Murphy successfully argued an appeal at the New York State Appellate Division Fourth Department. The underlying case was successfully tried by Michael Torcello and Michael Doran who obtained a verdict on behalf of a worker who was injured when the engine he was working on was struck by a group of cars being shoved down another track by a remote controlled locomotive. The jury awarded the injured employee damages for past pain and suffering; past lost earnings; future pain and suffering; and future lost earnings. The defendant appealed the award of future lost earnings, claiming that they did not have notice that the injured employee would have to miss work in the future due to side effects from his ongoing medical treatments. The appellate court upheld the jury verdict based on the facts that the railroad did have notice of the plaintiff’s future side effects based on his past side effects, their ability to get the worker’s medical records, and the pleadings and evidence produced throughout discovery.
Michael Doran successfully represented a fifty-five year old trackman who was injured when he slipped on a patch of ice while at work. It was shown through trial that the worker had repeatedly requested a set of ice grippers to help him maintain his balance on ice. Despite his requests, his employer failed to provide the requested protection. The employee slipped and fell, resulting in severe injuries to his left wrist, neck and shoulder. The jury from the Western District of Massachusetts found in favor of the employee, awarding him $511,866.90. Mr. Doran, along with co-counsel, is currently appealing this case to prevent a reduction for contributory negligence on the part of the employee.
Michael Torcello and Christopher Murphy successfully tried the case of a locomotive fireman and engineer who was diagnosed with chronic lung disease and throat cancer. Following an eight day trial, the jury found a violation of the Locomotive Boiler Inspection Act as well as the Federal Employers Liability Act and returned a combined verdict of $837,000. The defendant argued that the worker’s current state of health was related only to his long history of cigarette smoking and that his railroad exposures had in no way aggravated that condition. Defendant also argued that the worker was not exposed to harmful levels of dust or fumes in his work for the railroad.