An $850,000 settlement was awarded to a railroad brakeman whose pelvis was crushed when the train on which he was working derailed on an area of track with a history of derailments. The brakeman was represented in U.S, District Court by the law firm Moody, Strople, and Kloeppel Ltd. of Portsmouth, VA.
He was coupling loaded coal hopper cars at a coal operation in Virginia. Two cars would not couple, due to a curve in the track. The plaintiff climbed onto the brake platform, dropping the cut of cars onto the train. The couplers bypassed, pinning the brakeman between the cars, crushing his left pelvis. The railroad denied responsibility for the conditions by claiming the cause was water as the result of runoff from the coal mining operation.