There is an old adage among trial lawyers, "settle your losers and try your winners." The problem is that the other side also knows that saying, and one side's "loser" is the other side's "winner." The true test of a dedicated personal injury firm is its willingness to go to trial on a difficult case, one the other side believes is a winner for it, and still prevail against the odds.
That is what happened in the case of John McLaughlin vs. CSX Transportation. John was represented at trial by James L. Farina and Frank E. Van Bree. The case was tried from August 25 through September 4, 2008 in District Court in Louisville, Kentucky. John sustained "post-concussion syndrome" as a result of a fall from a tank car after the locomotive went into a full service brake application. The brakes were automatically applied as a result of remote control "comm loss" from John's operator control unit when its battery dropped out. The railroad claimed that conductors are trained to be prepared for a full service brake application, and that such a stop from 7 mph, with only 16 cars in the train, poses no unnecessary slack action danger to a conductor. The railroad further claimed that John McLaughlin had long recovered from any concussion, and that his current symptoms were a result of high doses of narcotic pain medication prescribed for a pre-existing cervical disc injury. Such a poor case, the railroad maintained, was not worth anything.
Nevertheless, for 2 ½ years of litigation, Hoey & Farina stuck by its client. After two weeks of trial, with a total of seven expert witnesses and four treating physicians testifying, the jury awarded Mr. McLaughlin $2,331,000.00. Which brings to mind another old adage, "hard work pays off."
Each personal injury lawyer at Hoey & Farina is dedicated to our clients. No brag, just fact. Ask John McLaughlin.