Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Court of Appeals Upholds 2.54 million of 2.74 million FELA Verdict!

The Court of Appeals just published CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Moody, which dealt with several issues arising from a jury verdict awarding Moody $2.74 million in his FELA action. CSX sought review that: (1) the evidence was insufficient to submit the issue of foreseeability to the jury; (2) the trial court should have given a specific foreseeability instruction; (3) the evidence was insufficient to prove causation; (4) it was error to allow Moody to introduce evidence of other dissimilar claims filed by workers against CSX; (5) the evidence was insufficient to support the jury's award for future medical expenses and lost wages; (6) the trial court erroneously failed to instruct the jury that lost wages and future medicals are non-taxable; and (7) the trial court should have instructed the jury to discount the award to present value.

The Court discussed each of these at length and found only the $200,000 award of future medical expenses improper. This is an interesting case discussing the difference between ordinary negligence cases and FELA cases, the application of federal and state law in FELA, and the standard for upholding a FELA award. Recommended reading for any practitioner involved with a FELA claim.

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