T.H. Lyda, Co-chair of the Transportation Practice Group, and local counsel Larry Bailey recently received a defense verdict on behalf of a major railroad client in a 2.5-week Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) case trial in state court in Albany, NY.
The plaintiff engineer alleged that poor locomotive ride quality, ergonomically inadequate and badly maintained seats led to the development of advanced degenerative changes in his lumbar spine and subsequent spinal fusion. Plaintiff boarded roughly $200,000 in wage losses and alleged a 25% permanent disability.
The defense team argued that it provided a reasonably safe place to work and that the plaintiff’s back degeneration was due to a preexisting congenital pars defect that progressed due to years of participation in track and field throwing events at the high school and college level.
The jury found that the railroad did not violate the Locomotive Inspection Act and further found that our client provided the plaintiff with a reasonably safe place to work under FELA.