Defendant gets until mid-July to file post-trial motion in $2.56 million CSX FELA verdict

Amelia Flood Jun. 28, 2011, 4:24pm


CSX Transportation has been given additional time to file a post-trial motion in a suit brought by a former railroad conductor who won $2.56 million in a 2007 FELA case tried earlier this year.

Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis granted a request filed by CSX to move the deadline for its post-trial motion from June 20 to July 13 over objections from plaintiff Victor Hawkins.

CSX had previously asked for and was granted another extension on the pre-trial move that set the deadline at June 20.

CSX cited another FELA case at trial in St. Clair County as its reason for seeking more time for the post-trial filing in the Hawkins case. CSX went on to lose the St. Clair County case brought by former conductor Roger Bennett and faces a more than $2 million verdict in that suit.

Hawkins sued CSX in 2007 claiming he severely injured his shoulder and developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder following an encounter with downed power lines while his train traveled through bad weather in Kentucky.

Hawkins alleged at his May trial that CSX could have warned him and other train crew members about the downed lines and did not.

CSX pointed to Hawkins' history of shoulder issues and previous fatal train accidents in which trains Hawkins was crewing, played a part.

In St. Clair County, Bennett contended that he was injured reaching for a faulty radio and that CSX failed to provide him with a safe work environment.

Callis's June 14 order granting the additional time to file the CSX post-trial motion stays the execution of Hawkins' judgment.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Lloyd Cueto presided over the St. Clair County CSX case.

David Jones represents Hawkins in Madison County.

Ryan Brennan represents Bennett.

James Bax represents CSX in both cases.

The case is Madison case number 07-L-054.

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