Although workplace discrimination is illegal, many Connecticut railroad employees still worry about possibly losing their jobs if they were to report an injury or call out an employer regarding unfair treatment in the workplace. A conductor who suffered severe railroad worker injuries in an incident in another state told the court he was blacklisted by the company for reporting his injuries. His case was recently updated when a judge ordered an additional $1 million to be paid beyond the $2.1 million he was awarded in a jury trial last year.
When the accident occurred, the man was injured when a door latch on a locomotive stuck, as he was trying to open it to exit the train. Upon trying to re-enter the train, he was thrown back onto the ballast when pain seared through his hand and wrist when he tried to hold onto a hand rail. A district court judge has denied Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad a re-trial.
The jury in the original 11-day trial found BNSF guilty of violating the Federal Employers Liability Act and the Federal Rail Safety Act. The man’s case was further complicated by allegations he made against the railroad company, stating he was fired from his job because he had reported the incident. BNSF claimed he was lying and that the company could prove he was already injured when he came to work that day.
The jury believed that the conductor was telling the truth. He was awarded $2.1 million for lost wages and benefits, emotional trauma and personal humiliation, as well as punitive damages. If a Connecticut railway employee is worried about reporting railroad worker injuries or has questions regarding the FELA, it is a good idea to meet with an experienced railroad litigation attorney to obtain legal guidance and support.