Victim of Illinois railroad accident receives a $33 million from jury on March 25, 2010. A 19 year old railroad conductor was severely injured on April 8, 2007, when he fell alongside a moving train in the Rock Island train yard while attempting to pull a uncoupling lever on a train. The plaintiff sustained bilateral leg amputations as well as other catastrophic injuries.
The Iowa Interstate Railroad, and its engineer were charged with violating numerous safety rules while switching cars, particularly the federal radio communication rule governing train operations that requires an engineer, when backing a train in response to a radio command from a conductor, to stop in half the distance of what the command was, unless additional commands received. Jurors are generally receptive to violations of federal statutes or regulations as persuasive evidence of negligence, they certainly did in this case. The railroad initially published a memo blaming the injury on the injured conductor, but obviously the Rock Island County jury felt differently. An appeal is sure to be filed.