$22.5 Million Verdict for Injured Railroad Worker

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Helen Jones
Executive Vice President 

On November 23, 2015, a Cook County jury delivered a $22.5 million verdict to a former railroad conductor who had his heel seriously disfigured after being crushed between two passing train cars. The plaintiff, Michael Parsons, filed suit against his employer Norfolk Southern Railroad Company under the Federal Employer Liability Act (FELA). Parsons’ verdict is one of the largest ever for a FELA case.

Parsons alleged Norfolk Southern had changed railroad switches less than two months prior to the accident in September 2011. While inspecting passing trains on September 2, 2011, Parsons’ heel was caught between two converging trains, ripping most of his heel off. Parsons’ heel was left grossly disfigured, requiring a major skin graft and replacement of the severed tendons and dead bone. For the rest of his life, Parsons will require continuing treatment every three months, with the only alternative being amputating his leg.

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The case is: Parsons v. Norfolk Southern Railroad Company

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