The Illinois railroad injury attorneys of Lipkin & Higgins represented two clients who worked for a company that performed intermodal loading and unloading operations for a railroad in Chicago. Their work involved using giant, overhead cranes and heavy duty lifting equipment to pick up 40-foot long containers off of railroad flatcars and loading them onto flatbed trucks. One worker slipped and fell while climbing between two railroad flatcars, falling about 10 feet onto his head and back, seriously injuring his cervical and lumbar spine, requiring surgery to each. The other worker slipped while climbing down a ladder from the cab of the crane, twisting his knee, also requiring surgery.
Both workers filed workers compensation claims against their employers, then came to the experienced FELA lawyers of Lipkin & Higgins to see if a successful lawsuit could be brought against the railroad.
The lawyers of Lipkin & Higgins filed separate suits against the railroad based upon a little known law that allows a case to proceed under the FELA if it can be shown that a worker, although not “technically employed” by the railroad, was sufficiently under its control at the time of injury to warrant FELA's protections. Our lawyers took multiple depositions of employees and managers from the railroad and the company our clients worked for to establish that the railroad exercised sufficient control over them. The railroad then brought a Motion for Summary Judgment, trying to have the lawsuit dismissed, which the court denied.
Soon after this ruling, the railroad asked to mediate both cases. The more serious of the two (the worker with the neck and back surgery) settled for a gross value of $1,250,000 and the other case settled for a gross value of $600,000.
Work-related injuries of any kind are serious, and you deserve to be protected. If you have sustained a railroad injury and would like to learn how the FELA attorneys of Lipkin & Higgins can help you, contact us to schedule a consultation.