$4.5 million verdict in favor of a railroad employee who sustained an ankle injury when he tripped over a cross tie
The plaintiff was a conductor and brakeman employed by Norfolk Southern. On the day he was injured, he was using a remote-control device to couple two freight cars to an engine. As he was walking along the tracks, he tripped over a cross tie located about three feet from the tracks which was not visible because vegetation had grown up around it. He suffered a right ankle tear that required two surgeries and resulted in a complex regional pain syndrome/reflex sympathetic dystrophy (CRPS/RSD). His injury left him unable to return to work due to constant pain.
At trial, the plaintiff alleged that Norfolk Southern was negligent in failing to properly maintain the rail yard to ensure the safety of its employees. The railroad denied any negligence and maintained that
the worker’s own negligence contributed to his injuries.
The jury awarded the railroad worker $4,500,000.