Members Daniel J. Hampton and T.H. Lyda obtained a defense verdict for two major railroad clients in a week-long jury trial in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. The claim, brought under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), involved a 59-year-old former railroad employee, who alleged that his 39 years of work as a trackman, welder and machine operator caused him to develop degenerative arthritis and other injuries in his lumbar spine and knee. Plaintiff alleged that his conditions were caused by our clients’ negligence, and that as a result, he was disabled from his railroad employment. The defense team elicited testimony from the plaintiff’s treating physicians that his conditions were more likely related to aging, genetics, and a history of smoking, and presented evidence that the railroads provided the plaintiff with a reasonably safe workplace. After approximately four hours of deliberation, the jury found that neither railroad was negligent, and returned a defense verdict in favor of both clients.
Note: The results obtained in a particular case are heavily dependent on the facts and the law specific to that case.