Burns White Attorneys Preserve Nominal Jury Award for Railroad in Derailment Litigation

Attorneys Dave Damico, Dan Donahoe and Nina Gusmar successfully preserved favorable trial court rulings and a minimal federal jury award for a plaintiff who sued the railroad following a train derailment and subsequent release of vinyl chloride in New Jersey. The plaintiff claimed that as a result of the derailment, he experienced physical ailments, as well as emotional distress from the fear he would develop cancer. Following a week-long trial led by Dave Damico, the jury awarded plaintiff $500 for pain and suffering and emotional distress. Plaintiff appealed the award arguing that the trial court erred in excluding his medical expert and granting summary judgment to the railroad on his medical-monitoring and fear-of-cancer claims. The Third Circuit rejected plaintiff’s contentions and upheld the verdict, holding that the lower court properly found that his expert witness did not proffer reliable evidence that his cancer risk increased.

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