Background: Leading up to the Lawsuit
The Chicago FELA attorneys of Peter Higgins Law successfully completed a jury trial where our client, a fifty-eight-year-old Amtrak train attendant, suffered a torn rotator cuff when she threw a mattress onto the upper bunk of a sleeping car room in an Amtrak train.
The mattress had previously been removed from the car and placed into storage so that the bunk could be used as a luggage shelf (notwithstanding an express prohibition of the practice). Our client did not report the injury at the time because she feared that she would be “written up” or fired. Instead, she saw her primary care physician three days later. She did not tell him that the injury was work-related. She finally reported the injury to a supervisor two months after the incident and after she worked five more trips on the train.
Two surgical attempts at repair were undertaken. Ultimately, shoulder replacement was required. Our client was not able to return to work at Amtrak. Instead, she went to work as a nursing home receptionist.
Amtrak Lawsuit and Results
The defense took the position that the injury did not take place on the job. They claimed that if it had, our client would have reported it right away (as Amtrak rules require) and would have told her doctor right away. The defense also argued that the tear was due to a long-standing shoulder condition. After a week-long trial, the jury found in favor of our client for $1,137,700.00, less thirty percent comparative negligence.
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