Metro-North conductor flagman James Avery was killed at 1:30 am on July 18, 1997, while flagging for the employees of contractor Mass Electric west of Stamford Station. Cahill & Perry, P.C. sued both Metro-North and Mass Electric, claiming their negligence and recklessness caused Avery’s death.
Avery was struck by a Metro-North work train moving west on Track 2 after the Mass Electric workers engaged in a confrontation and skirmish with him over his orders that they stop pressing their bucket truck against the catenary wires. Despite their inability to call Jim Avery as a witness, George Cahill and Scott Perry nevertheless succeeded in proving at trial that Avery was struck by the locomotive while he was down on Track 2 as a result of Mass Electric’s recklessly negligent physical altercation with him.
The verdict is a complete vindication of Jim Avery, because the jury totally rejected Mass Electric’s argument that Jim was daydreaming while standing up on a live mainline track. The jury awarded a total of over $10.8 million dollars in damages for Avery’s lost earnings, the destruction of his capacity to enjoy life, his death by being run over by a locomotive, and punitive damages.
Jim Avery’s 11-year-old daughter Corey is the beneficiary of the judgment. In the words of Jim’s father Robert Avery, “There’s no amount of money that can make up for Jimmy’s life. But the verdict helps explain his death and assures that his daughter will be taken care of the way Jimmy would want it.” Cahill & Perry, P.C. is proud to have won a historic verdict that vindicates Jimmy while ensuring that the daughter he loved so much will have every advantage life can offer.