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Roanoke jury awards half million to FELA plaintiff

railA Roanoke circuit court jury last week awarded $525,000 to a former railroad carman disabled from a nonsurgical back injury.  According to plaintiff’s co-counsel Ray Ferris, the plaintiff injured his back when he was forced to dive out from between two rail cars when the cars unexpectedly started to move.

The 59-year-old plaintiff claimed $360,000 in lost wages and benefits based on his intention to retire at age 66.  The defendant railroad reportedly argued for a smaller figure, pointing to the fact that most railroad carmen retire at age 62.

Ferris said that his client’s last demand was $200,000.  The railroad reportedly offered $100,000 prior to trial.

The case is James Stewart v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co.  We hope to have a verdict report in VLW in the near future.

By Peter Vieth

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