A Leicester railroad company worker who says he was hit in the face by a hammer while working in an engine room three years ago has filed an injury complaint against Providence & Worcester Railroad Co. in Federal Court. He filed his work injury case under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). Dennis J. Madore is claiming that the railroad company did not provide a safe work environment and was negligent.
In his complaint, Madore was repairing railroad cars in the engine house on December 10, 2004 when his face was accidentally struck with a hammer. The Massachusetts resident says that he suffered great physical pain, and “was made sick, sore and lame.” He claims he has not been able to work since the injury accident and that his incapacitation will continue. Madore says he has been paying for medication for his injuries and that his doctors’ bills are growing.
Under FELA, railroad workers can claim compensation for medical costs, permanent or partial disability, lost income, and pain and suffering. Railroad employees are not covered by workers’ compensation. They can, however, bring a lawsuit against their employer.
A FELA claim can be brought in state or federal court. A jury decides the monetary compensation, which is determined by comparative negligence. This means that a jury will have to compare how negligent the railroad company was compared to the worker in causing this particular injury accident (from the FELA Help Web site):
• If there was negligence on the part of the railroad, co-workers or other railroad personnel;
• if the plaintiff was negligent and contributed to the accident and resultant railroad injury, and if so to what degree;
• the amount of damages suffered by the railroad worker as a result of the railroad accident
If you are going to file a claim against a railroad company through FELA, you should hire a personal injury lawyer that is experienced in handling railroad accident cases involving railroad employees. You will have to prove negligence in your case in order to convince a jury that you deserve compensation, and a personal injury lawyer that understands the nature of train accidents can help you with this. Even when a worker wins a jury award, it could still take years to receive your recovery-especially if the railroad company decides to contest the award.
Hammer accident leads to complaint against P&W, Worcester Journal, September 17, 2007
FELA – Federal Employers Liability Act of 1908
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