Yesterday, at the end of the first Federal Rail Safety Act jury trial in the nation, I asked the federal jury to send a message to every railroad in the country. An unmistakable message that singling out injured workers for discipline while ignoring management’s role will not be tolerated. An unmistakable message that rail management’s unsafe culture of retaliation must stop.
And send a message it did. The jury responded with a historic punitive damages award of $1 million, in a case where my client’s only economic loss was $1,428 (for his lost wages from the 7 days he spent at the trial). More on the lessons of this historic verdict later, but the message is clear: juries hate railroads that discipline injured workers, and maximum punitive damages will be routine in every FRSA case, no matter how small the economic loss.
For an article on this verdict, click here. For more information on this powerful new law that is changing the landscape of rail labor relations, go to the free Rail Whistleblower Library(and for automatic notice of breaking developments, enter your email address in the free subscription box to the left).