Train Law Blog

Train Law Blog

The Source for Railroad Injuries & Whistleblower Protection

Tag Archives: New Jersey railroad injury lawyer

New Guidelines on FRSA Settlement Agreements

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act
Recognizing it’s hard to blow the whistle once you’ve been gagged, OSHA has issued new guidelines prohibiting the use of gag and confidentiality clauses in settlement agreements. See Policy Guidelines for Approving Settlement Agreements in Whistleblower Cases. OSHA reviews settlement agreements between whistleblowers and their employers “to ensure they are fair, adequate, reasonable, and in… Continue Reading

ARB Clarifies FRSA Punitive Damages Standard

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act
The Administrative Review Board has handed down an important punitive damages decision that also shows how to eliminate a railroad’s affirmative defense. In Jason Raye v. Pan Am Railways, Inc., the Railroad charged the employee with making false statements in a Federal Rail Safety Act complaint filed with OSHA. Although Raye was never actually disciplined… Continue Reading

More On FRSA Punitive Damages

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act
Another Circuit Court has clarified the standard for awarding punitive damages to rail whistleblowers, this time in the context of jury instructions.  After Springfield Terminal Railway Company fired Jason Worcester for raising safety concerns, he filed a Federal Rail Safety Act whistleblower complaint in federal court.  The district judge instructed the jury that:  you can award… Continue Reading

Guideposts For FRSA Punitive Damages

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act
What are the guideposts for determining the amount of punitive damages in Federal Rail Safety Act cases? According to the 10th Circuit’s decision in BNSF Railway Company v. US DOL ARB [Cain], there are three guideposts whose application is informed by the text of Section 20109: The first and most important indicator of the reasonableness… Continue Reading

Late Injury Report Discipline Results in Summary Judgment Against Railroad

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act
Railroad defense lawyers love to file summary judgment motions because it delays the trial while padding their hourly bills.  But the Federal Rail Safety Act now allows employees to turn such motions into a sword that guts the railroad’s defense. The facts in Smith-Bunge v. Wisconsin Central, Ltd  follow a familiar pattern. Todd Smith-Bunge felt… Continue Reading

The Price Railroads Pay For Ignoring the FRSA

Posted in Federal Rail Safety Act
Well over a year before its string of death and derailment, Metro North was subjected to the first Federal Rail Safety Act whistleblower jury trial in the nation, Barati v Metro North. During that trial, cross examination of the Heads of Metro North’s Safety, Training, and Track Departments exposed the disconnect between the Railroad’s window dressing… Continue Reading