February 22, 2012
A Roanoke jury has awarded $4.5 million to a former Norfolk Southern Corp. employee who became disabled after tripping on a cross tie along tracks at the local terminal.
Former conductor and brakeman Welsh Davis tore a tendon in his ankle after tripping while working in 2008. His attorney argued that weeds had that grown around the tie obstructed Davis' view and created an unsafe workplace. The injury left him unable to work and in almost constant pain.
Because railroad employees aren't covered by worker's compensation, on-the-job accidents fall under the Federal Employers Liability Act. Under the act, employees must prove that the railroad's negligence led to the injury.
The Roanoke Times reports that Friday's decision is one of the city's largest personal-injury jury awards in recent memory.
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