Dan Mohan successfully defended BNSF Railway Company in Brock Horn v BNSF Railway Company.
The plaintiff, a front-end loader operator for the railroad, claimed that BNSF negligently created an unsafe working environment that caused numbness in his arms and legs, leading to his requiring a spinal fusion procedure that prevented him from returning to work. The claim was for $1.44 million plus unspecified pain and suffering damages.
The plaintiff originally saw a doctor to deal with numbness in his arms and legs. He was initially reviewed for a stroke, but also saw an orthopedic surgeon, who diagnosed cervical myelopathy which led to a spinal fusion procedure. He then claimed that BNSF created an unsafe work environment by ordering him to jam the front end loader into rail, causing cumulative trauma over 25 years.
MGS was able to show that his work process and environment could not have caused the injuries noted, and that most or all of his symptoms could be attributed to his vascular issues. Dan Mohan noted, “The case was challenging as it had a number of complex medical issues because the plaintiff had seen numerous doctors, and none had a full medical history. We reviewed the medical records in totality, and then were able to provide the jury with a strong framework for evaluating the legal and medical issues. In addition, one of the keys to the verdict was showing the jury that while they could be sympathetic to his condition, they couldn’t overlook the medical facts.” The jury deliberated for 4 hours before returning a verdict in favor of BNSF.
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