It was the third time in his professional career, that Willard J. Moody, Sr. collected a court award or settlement in excess of one million dollars for his client. Moody specialized in representing railroad claimants and concentrated in that particular niche for his professional career. “My father-in-law was a railroad engineer and his railroad friends needed a railroad attorney occasionally,” Moody explains.
This third million dollar case resulted from an accident involving a railroad employee who was knocked down in the early morning hours by three runaway cars while trying to repair an air leak in another car. The three runaway cars careened into him “knocking him underneath the gears and cutting off his right leg below the knee”, according to the plaintiff’s sworn statement.
Amongst the mistakes made by the railroad, Moody said, were a defective engine, railroad tracks that were illegally too close, and violations of the federal Boiler Maintenance and Employees Liability Acts. “Thorough investigation is really what’s needed,” Moody was quoted as saying. “You must know enough about railroading to understand how accidents happen. You must understand enough about medicine for that part of the case”. “The railroads,” Moody concluded, “have a long way to go improving safety standards. Some railroads figure it’s cheaper to pay for arms and legs than improvements,” he said.
In regards to his client, Mr. Moody observed, “He is as happy as a guy can be, when he doesn’t have a leg. He is happy to have the money to support his family. Obviously, he’ll never be able to work on the railroad again.”