$9,323,660 gross verdict in favor of a switchman conductor that had his leg amputated when he was run over by a train in a rail yard
The plaintiff, a 25-year-old switchman conductor, was switching cars on three separate tracks for the Louisville & Indiana Railroad Co. The senior conductor instructed him to lace air hoses on cars that were to be switched. Without warning, a cut of three railcars was released by the ground conductor and struck one of the cars near where the plaintiff was standing. He was knocked to the ground and the railcar ran over his left leg.
The switchman sued the railroad for violating the Federal Employers Liability Act, alle ging that the railroad failed to furnish him with a reasonably safe place to work. The railroad denied the allegations, arguing that the plaintiff was to blame for his injuries.
The jury found the railroad was 90% at fault and that the plaintiff was 10% at fault, awarding him $9,323,660 in damages, which was reduced to $8,391,294 for comparative fault. Prior to closing arguments, both sides entered into a “high-low agreement” which further reduced his recovery to $7,860,035.