George T Brugess wins a $33 million settlement in a record high Illinois FELA verdict.
Jury Verdict Case Details
F.E.L.A.—RAILROAD CONDUCTOR LOSES BOTH LEGS AFTER BEING STRUCK BY TRAIN (5)
Andrew Schulte v Iowa Interstate Railroad Ltd. V L.A. Colo Inc. 07L-82 Tried Mar. 8-25, 2010.
VERDICT: $33,000,000 v Iowa Interstate Railroad Ltd. ($10,000,000 loss of normal life; $6,300,000 pain & suffering; $10,000,000 disfigurement; $4,200,000 life care; $2,500,000 wage loss); Not Guilty v 3rd party deft L.A. Colo Inc.
JUDGE: Alan G. Blackwood (IL, Rock Island 14th Jd Cr)
PLTF ATTYS: James L. Farina and George T. Brugess of Hoey & Farina for Schulte DEMAND: $30,000,000 ASKED: $51,000,000
DEFT ATTYS: Michael B. Flynn and John E. Young, IV of Flynn & Wirkus (Quincy, MA) for Iowa Interstate Railroad Ltd. (Lexington Insurance) OFFER: $3,000,000; David M. Alt and Cody S. Moon of Bates & Carcy for L.A. Colo, Inc.
PLTF MEDL: Dr. William Schulte (Family Practice) for Schulte
DEFT MEDL: Stephanie Long, R.N. (Nursing) for Iowa Interstate Railroad Ltd.
PLTF EXPERTS: Colon R. Fulk (Railroad Operational Consultant), Alan Blackwell (Railroads), Dr. Dennir Gates (Orthopedist), Terry L. Cordray, M.S. (Vocational Rehabilitation) and Ronald T. Smolarski of Bcacon Rehabilitation Services, 114 Felch St., Ann Arbor, MI (734-665-8326) (Life Care Planner) for Schulte
DEFT EXPERTS: Foster J. Peterson (Railroad Operational Consultant), Gregory Guthrie of Rail Consulting LLC,N11512 Muskellunge Lake Road, Tomahawk, WI (715-224-2481) (Railroads), Steven F. Wiker, Ph.D. of West Virginia University, Dept. of Industrial & Management Systems Engineering, P.O. Box 6070, Morgantown, WV (304-293-9475) (Biochemical Engineer) and Debra E. Berens, Ph.D. of Weed & Associates, Inc., 1156 Masters Lane, Snellville, GA (770-985-4546) (Life Care Planner) for Iowa Interstate Railroad Ltd.
The railroad worker from Rock Island, Illinois was awarded $33 million. It was the morning of Easter Sunday, when the Iowa Interstate Railroad conductor was switching cars in the railroad’s Rock Island Yard, when he was struck by a train. Both of his legs needed to be amputated after he sustained fractures to both legs and multiple fractures to his pelvis area. He also sustained massive devolving of his lower abdomen and upper thighs. There were unsafe yard conditions such as the hole near a newly installed railroad tie that caused him to trip; he railroad was negligent in maintaining the pin lifter which was unresponsive, preventing the cars involved from uncoupling; and the railroad violated federal communication regulations that govern train operations in the United States. The award of $33 million is a record verdict for a single plaintiff in Rock Island County. It is also the highest F.E.L.A. verdict in JVR’s records.