The railroad attorneys at Lipkin & Higgins represented a conductor who was in the front locomotive of a freight train as it headed toward a crossing in Chicago’s south suburbs. When the train was about a city block away, a semi-tractor trailer carrying a 50,000-lb. steel coil went around the crossing gates and drove onto the tracks, directly into the path of the oncoming freight train. Our client knew the train could not be stopped in time to avoid a major train wreck, so all he could do was put his head down and brace himself, thinking he would be catastrophically injured or killed. Amazingly, he walked away with only “soft-tissue” neck and back injuries, but also with a bad case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
In this case there was no FELA claim against our client’s employer, the railroad. Instead, the case was against the trucking company and truck driver, only.
The railroad attorneys at Lipkin & Higgins took the deposition of our client’s treating psychiatrist to explain how PTSD is caused and what effect it had on our client. They then retained expert witnesses to explain why their client could never return to work at the railroad, how he would never make as much money in another job that he did working at the railroad, and to calculate all of his past and future wage and benefit losses. About a month before the scheduled trial date, the parties went to a mediation settlement conference where a settlement was reached for $730,000.