West Virginia jury sides with Norfolk Southern in East Alton attorney's injury case

Chris Dickerson Nov. 2, 2007, 4:00am

WILLIAMSON, W. Va. -- A Mingo County, West Virginia jury has found that Norfolk Southern Railway Company was not at fault for causing injuries to an employee of the Norfolk, Va.-based railroad.

Douglas Caraway, a lifelong resident of Mingo County, sued his employer under the Federal Employers' Liability Act alleging that he suffered injuries to his shoulder and knee as a result of negligent working conditions.

Melissa Foster Bird of Huddleston Bolen in Huntington, W. Va. represented Norfolk Southern in the trial. Robert Schmeider of Pratt & Tobin in East Alton and Jerry Lyall of Williamson, W. Va. represented the plaintiff.

Caraway worked for Norfolk Southern for 28 years as a carman and claimed that the railroad was liable for his injuries as a result of working in an unsafe railroad yard. He alleged that the walking conditions were uneven, cluttered and built in a way to cause degenerative injury to his joints.

The railroad argued that any injuries that he might have sustained were not the result of any work-related condition.

After deliberating for 30 minutes, the jury returned a verdict in Norfolk Southern's favor on the basis that Caraway was not injured during the course of his employment with Norfolk Southern.

Judge Michael Thornsbury presided over the trial.

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