Ruth holding damages-only trial this week in case against Union Pacific

By Christina Stueve | Feb 6, 2012



Opening arguments are expected to begin Tuesday morning in a damages-only trial in a case previously settled by a jury in August 2009.

Plaintiff Phillip Charles Roberts has already prevailed in his suit against Union Pacific Railroad, however Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth agreed to set aside a $250,000 award finding the jury awarded the amount contrary to evidence in the case.

Both Roberts and Union Pacific had sought to set aside the jury's award. Ruth granted the moves in December 2009.

The jury in the August 2009 trial returned a verdict of $500,000 in Roberts' favor. However, the jury also found Roberts was 50 percent liable for injuries he suffered when he tripped over a cable while working for the defendant along tracks in Wood River. Roberts' award was reduced by half.

A new jury was selected Monday.

Thomas Jones and Harlan Harla represent the railroad.

Daniel Francis represents the plaintiff.

The case is Madison case number 07-L-906.

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