Railroad worker files satisfaction of judgment in injury case that twice went to trial

By Ann Maher | Sep 12, 2014

An injured railroad worker who twice took his grievances to Madison County jurors has finally filed court papers acknowledging that his claims have settled.

Phillip Charles Roberts, who had been awarded $250,000 following trial in August 2009 for disfigurement and lost wages, claimed the jury had not properly awarded him when he was given another chance in a damages-only case taken to trial in February 2012 in Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth's court.

The second time around, however, jurors awarded Roberts only $14,041.13. They also awarded him $5,118.90 in costs.

Roberts appealed the second award, but then voluntarily dismissed it in September 2012.

According to Union Pacific's motion for entry of satisfaction of judgment filed Aug. 6, payment to plaintiff's counsel Daniel Francis of Welcome, N.C. was delayed because there had been several liens on the judgment. But, in May of this year, both costs and judgment were paid, according to Union Pacific attorney Thomas E. Jones of Belleville.

"To date, Plaintiff's Counsel has not returned a signed copy of the Satisfaction of Judgment or filed the same with this Court," Jones wrote in his motion.

According to the motion, Roberts had received several advancements from Union Pacific totaling $4,446 before the second trial.

Jones indicated that on May 2 Union Pacific paid Roberts costs of $5,118.90, and on May 12 it paid him $12,414.15, representing the verdict, plus $2,819.02 in interest, minus the advancement.

On Aug. 22, Francis ultimately filed a satisfaction of judgment on behalf of Roberts.

At his first trial, Roberts, who was a Union Pacific carman, testified that he was working in Wood River on July 17, 2007 when he tripped over wire, causing him to tumble.

Jurors awarded Roberts $500,000, but the judgment was reduced by half as the jury found him 50 percent responsible for his injuries.

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