FELA Online
An Online Resource for Railroaders and Their Families




Lawyers devoted to helping railroad workers and their families get their lives back on track following on the job injuries. 

NEWS
 February 25th, 2013

Warshauer Law Group is pleased to announce the promotion of associate Darl H. Champion, Jr. to partner. He has been with the firm since March 2010 and his practice focuses on representing plaintiffs in catastrophic injury and death cases.

Mr. Champion attended Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law, where he was a Managing Editor of the Mercer Law Review, a member of the Moot Court Board, an inductee into the Brainerd Currie Honor Society, and a recipient of the Faculty Award for Outstanding Senior. After receiving his Juris Doctor degree, magna cum laude, he worked for two years as law clerk for the Honorable Hugh Lawson, United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. In each of the last two years, Georgia Super Lawyers magazine has recognized him as a Rising Star in the area of plaintiff personal injury litigation.



February
 6th, 2013

Warshauer Law Group is excited to announce that the firm has expanded to TWO new locations in Georgia! Along with our main location in Atlanta, we now have offices in Cumming and Gainesville. Ultimately, we hope these additions will offer more convenience and versatility to those who mean most to us...our clients! Please check out the "Contact Us" page of our website for more details about our new locations.    

July 27, 2012


On June 29 2012, the Georgia Court of Appeals upheld a trial court’s order requiring Norfolk Southern Railway Company to produce a copy of a RailView video - data that is vital to the discovery process in our client's pending FELA suit.

On June 16, 2010, a train operated by Norfolk Southern Railway Company collided with a tractor-trailer in Clayton County. Winford Hartry, who was the engineer of the train, was injured as a result of the collision. Norfolk Southern contracted with Science Applications International Corporation, Inc., to co-develop locomotive dash-cam software known as ''RaiIView''. The RailView device records digital images of the train's movement, as well as data about the train's speed, direction, hom activity, and braking activity. This RailView device captured images and data when Mr. Hartry's incident took place.

Although the relevance of this data to the case was undisputed by both parties, Norfolk Southern would only agree to provide a copy of the data disk to the Hartrys under certain conditions, and Norfolk Southern advised the Hartrys that they would only be able to view the information on the RailView data disk they purchased the proper Railview software for $500 per year.

The Hartrys filed a motion to compel discovery, which was followed by a motion for protective order on behalf of Norfolk Southern. When the motion to compel was granted, Norfolk Southern appealed the trial court’s order to the Georgia appellate courts.

In a well-written opinion by now-Justice Keith Blackwell, the Court of Appeals held,

We cannot say that the court below clearly abused its discretion in making such a determination, especially given the crucial nature of the evidence, the relatively minor cost of the license when compared to the amount at stake in the lawsuit, and the fact that it was Norfolk Southern’s decision to equip its locomotive with a licensed device for recording data so that it would only be able to provide that data to third parties upon payment of a license fee.

Norfolk Southern v. Hartry, -- S.E.2d --, (Docket No. A12A0649) (June 29, 2012). 

We are pleased with the Georgia Court of Appeals’ decision and congratulate attorneys Doug Dumont and Darl Champion for their hard work on behalf of the Hartry family. Unless the railroad is successful in its petition for certiorari, Norfolk Southern will be responsible for either providing a computer equipped with the proper Railview software to view the data disk, or by any other methods the parties may agree to. 



April 25, 2012

On Thursday April 19, 2012 a United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia jury returned a $20,559,004.00 verdict to compensate our client for the loss of both legs caused by a runaway railroad car.  The rail car was delivered to the General Mills cereal factory in Covington, Georgia by CSX Transportation.  It rolled away from where it had been parked and hit two other cars that the plaintiff was working with.   All three rail cars rolled over the plaintiff.  The runaway car rolled away because its handbrake failed to hold it in place.   Defendant CSX blamed the plaintiff for failing to apply the handbrake.  Through extensive investigation and analysis of the evidence and of how handbrakes operate, we were able to prove that the plaintiff, who had no memory of the event because of his extensive injuries, applied the handbrake properly.  The verdict will protect our client's future and hopefully encourage CSX to adopt better policies relating to handbrake inspection and maintenance.


March 19th, 2012

Fellow FELA attorney Steve Young composed an excellent Q & A regarding the recent changes the FRA has implemented for conductor certification. Click here to view!

March 14th, 2012

We have just received the most recent SOFA ("Switching Operation Fatalities Analysis") first quarter report for 2012, which contains the latest updates to the working of the SOFA committee.  The report covers accident reports on many fatalities, summaries of the 540 fatalities since 1975, and the thousands of severe injuries in recent years. Click here to view in pdf format.

March 7th, 2012

Big news: Warshauer Law Group is proud to announce the release of its new mobile app for Railroad workers!  The "FELA Lawyers" app has features that include:

- Incident report form
- Railroad accident reports
- Whistleblower protection
- Statute of limitations calculator
- Safe place to work guide
- And more!!

Our apps (which also include "Truck Wreck Lawyers" and "Malpractice Lawyers" apps) are designed for both iPhone and android devices!

Best news of all? They are free!

For iPhone users: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fela-lawyers/id502592581?mt=8

For Android users: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.snt.warshauer.app&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImNvbS5zbnQud2Fyc2hhdWVyLmFwcCJd

February 22nd, 2012

Earlier this month, Michael attended the meeting of the Designated Legal Counsel this past week in Key West, Florida.  While there, he exchanged information and talked strategy with more than forty of the best railroad lawyers in the country!



January 19th, 2012

For years, Norfolk Southern and SAIC have worked to keep plaintiffs and their attorneys from getting copies of RailView videos.  RailView is mounted on the nose of a locomotive, like a police car's dashboard camera, and it constantly films throughout the trip.  Thus, it captures things like crossing accidents, train collisions, etc.  We were successful in getting the trial court to compel Norfolk Southern to produce a copy of the RailView video to us in a case where a Norfolk Southern engineer was injured when the locomotive he was operating crashed into a container truck that had gone around the gates.  The trial court agreed that this was critical information and that NS had to either produce to us in usable form (i.e., a DVD or other readily viewable file) or give us a laptop with the RailView software loaded on it so we could watch the video. To read the full order from the court as a pdf document, click here.

 
January 10th, 2012

Warshauer Law Group is proud to share that special representative Danny Boyles was appointed to a one-year term as Grand Marshal of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in Georgia!

From the December 2011 issue of Masonic Messenger: "Worshipful Brother Danny Boyles appointed Grand Marshal"

                                       
 


April 22, 2011

It appears that Norfolk Southern has told Aetna to send bills for on-the-job injuries to the NS Claims Department in Norfolk, Virginia.  We have clients who have received a denial of benefits from Aetna that reads,

IT APPEARS THIS CLAIM IS RELATED TO AN ON-DUTY INJURY.  PLEASE FORWARD THIS CLAIM TO NORFOLK SOUTHERN CASUALTY DEPT. THREE COMMERCIAL PLACE, NORFOLK, VA 23510 FOR FURTHER CLAIM REVIEW

After trying to treat his back injury conservatively for months, this client was left with no choice but to have back surgery.  The surgery was scheduled for Tuesday, July 6, 2010, at 6:30 a.m.  On Friday, July 2, 2010, at about 4:30 p.m., Aetna told our client's surgeon that they would not pay the claim unless the surgeon would represent that the surgery was not work related.  The surgeon refused to do so, Aetna denied the claim, and the surgery had to be rescheduled. 

We have several other instances where railroad worker's claims have been denied or delayed due to Norfolk Southern instructing Aetna, and we presume other health benefits providers, to deny claims for on-duty injuries. 

While we are not familiar with the details of each applicable Agreement with Norfolk Southern, we do know that railroad workers have a bargained right for healthcare.  Norfolk Southern appears to have taken this right away unilaterally so that it can control the railroad worker's medical care and have access to the worker's healthcare records.  This is not right. 

We have made the UTU aware of this situation, and they are investigating.  We have attached the letter from International President Mike Futhey

(click the above image to view the letter as a pdf document)


March 31, 2011

About 18 months ago we lost a very tough case against CSX. We just got the news that the United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, reversed the judgment and our client wlil be granted a new trial. In the words of attorney Doug Dumont, "Justice has never smelled so good!" Visit http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/ops/200915417.pdf to read the ruling of the Circuit Judges.


August 31, 2010

Amtrak Employee Awarded $160K in 'Historic' FRSA Case: http://ohsonline.com/articles/2010/08/31/amtrak-historic-frsa-case.aspx

August 25, 2010

We're back in the office after a great weekend in Asheville.  Attorneys from our firm lead educational sessions for union leaders about injury reports, FELA, statements, and railroad safety in general.  We had some great fun too.  On Saturday night we hosted a widely attended function for the Norfolk Southern General Committee at the Fiddlin' Pig where everyone enjoyed some fine barbecue, great live music, and renewed friendships.  On Monday night, Mark Irish entertained at a widely attended event by hypnotizing several volunteers including General Chairman Paul Emert's wife, Vicki, who fell in love with a shoe and interpreted a Martian mating dance too!  Fun times had by all.  

Visit https://picasaweb.google.com/warshauerlawgroup/UTUAshevilleNC to see all of the photos from Saturday night. Check back next week for video clips of Mark Irish.

   












July 19, 2010

Enough withe the clues already.  Hypnotist/comedian Mark Irish will be our entertainment on Monday night at the Regional Meeting in Asheville.  Here's what you can look forward to that night!

 
 



July 9, 2010

Michael & Lyle Warshauer are attending the American Association for Justice's annual convention in Vancouver.  Hopefully it's much cooler up there than it is here in Atlanta!!

And for those of you checking back for this week's hint about the UTU meeting, here it is: the type of entertainment we've got for you shares a name with a trendy liqueur...in a blue bottle.   


June 29, 2010

As we mentioned last week, we're planning a special evening for the UTU Regional Meeting in August, and there will be a special guest!  Here's a hint at his identity:  this person has spoken for Fortune 500 companies, business associations, and institutions of higher learning such as Georgia Tech, University of Georgia, and UCLA.  Another clue about our mystery guest is coming your way next week.


June 22, 2010

We're gearing up for the UTU Regional Meeting in Asheville, North Carolina.  August 21 - 25, 2010.  We have a special evening planned that you won't want to miss.  Visit this site next week for another clue on what the night will entail...


June 1, 2010

GeorgiaFELA.com site redesigned - we will be updating this site more regularly from here on, so please check back often for more updates and site improvements.


April 27, 2010

Michael Warshauer received a $750,000 verdict against Norfolk Southern in the State Court of Fulton County. His partner Lyle Warshauer played an instrumental role in getting the case to trial, doing appellate work and oral argument before the Court of Appeals. The result is particularly interesting because Norfolk Southern offered our client nothing.
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