The Chicago attorneys of Lipkin & Higgins obtained a $2,000,000.00 total award for our client, a railroad track laborer, who was struck in the hip by a metal grinding disk that flew off a railroad tie grinding machine.
Our client was working on a “track gang” replacing rail for his railroad employer in Ventura, Iowa. His job was to walk about 160 feet behind a tie grinding machine and move tie plates into position over the railroad ties that the machine had just gone over. As he was walking, a disk came loose from the machine and flew toward our client, hitting him in the hip and causing him to fall to the tracks as if he had been shot. He sustained injuries to his hip, knee and back, and was never able to return to work at the railroad (although he did return to work in a different capacity).
We sued the railroad under the FELA, and the railroad turned around and sued the manufacturer of the machine, claiming that it was unreasonably dangerous. The case went to trial because the parties were too far apart in settlement negotiations. After a two-week trial, we settled with the machine manufacturer for a confidential amount on the day before closing arguments, then received a verdict against the railroad. The total, combined amount of the verdict and settlement was $2,000,000.