Failure of railroad to remove snow in train yard after 20 inch snowfall – Plaintiff train engineer slips and falls as he is stepping over the electrified third rail to reach train – Knee injuries – Chondroplasty – Knee arthritis – Sprain wrist – Inability to continue working for railroad
HUDSON COUNTY, NJ
The plaintiff railroad engineer, in his early 50’s at the time of the incident, contended that although a 20 inch snow storm had ended approximately 24 hours earlier, the defendant railroad failed to clear the yard which contained tracks on which a train, that the plaintiff was to put in service and take to NYC, was located. The plaintiff contended that as a result, he was required to walk through the snow on the tracks and lost his footing, as he was attempting to step over the third rail. The plaintiff maintained that he suffered a tear of the medial meniscus and chondromalacia of the patella, which required a total of three surgeries, including a meniscectomy, a chondroplasty, with suturing of the patellar rendon, and a partial knee replacement. The plaintiff also required a series of plasma injections to promote healing. These injections were performed after the first surgery. The plaintiff maintained that traumatic arthritis has developed, and that he will permanently require a cane to walk and cannot work because of difficulty climbing onto trains, and contended that because of his age and level of experience, it is highly doubtful that he will be able to obtain alternative employment. The plaintiff also supported that he sustained a sprain of the dominant wrist that essentially resolved. The defendant denied that the fall caused the claimed knee injuries, or that the plaintiff income claims should be accepted.
The case settled prior to trial for $765,897.00, including $575,000.00 for non-economic damages, a waiver of $167,887.00 medical lien, and a $23,020 wage lien waiver.
R.M. v. PATH. Docket no. HUD-L-1736-12, 9/9/14
Attorneys for plaintiff: Charles A. Cerussi and Jaclyn A. Gannon of Cerussi & Gunn, P.C. in Shrewsbury, NJ.