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Gainer Secures “Soft Landing” in FELA Case After Plaintiff Sought $1.8M for Injured Wrist

March 5, 2019

Johnson & Bell Shareholder, Brian P. Gainer, secured a favorable outcome in a FELA case for his public transit client. While the plaintiff sought $1.8 million in damages and the jury ultimately ruled in his favor, the jury awarded only $195,000 in damages.  In this case, the plaintiff, a conductor at a public transit agency, claimed to trip, fall and injure his wrist while walking through a rail yard. The plaintiff was originally diagnosed with a possible fracture that was later determined to either be a fracture or sprain, depending on the doctor. The plaintiff returned to work on two separate occasions before having surgery to repair carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel syndromes. Ultimately, the plaintiff returned to work less than a year after the incident. At trial, defense contended that the public transit agency provided the plaintiff with a reasonably safe place to work, as required by the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). Mr. Gainer also argued that his client did not receive notice of a hazardous condition in its rail yard – a fact the plaintiff contested.  Defense also asserted that the plaintiff was not injured to the extent that was claimed and that the symptoms of carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel syndrome were not related to the incident in question. In granting a verdict to the plaintiff, the jury appeared to give enormous weight to defense’s argument as they awarded less than 11 percent in damages compared to plaintiff’s demand to the jury.

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