$6 Million Verdict for Train Conductor Upheld

$6 Million Verdict for Train Conductor Upheld

The Colorado Court of Appeals upheld a jury’s decision to award $6 million to a Union Pacific conductor for injuries suffered in a fall down the stairs of a locomotive in 1998.

Frank Aloi, 55, caught his foot on the edge of a defective rubber mat as he was descending the stairs to deboard the train. He suffered permanent injuries to his lower back, right shoulder, neck, and head in the fall.

Union Pacific was charged with destroying inspection records that would have damaged its case. A district court jury found the Nebraska-based railroad at fault under the Federal Employers Liability Act.

The railroad appealed the jury’s verdict, saying that the judge’s jury instructions to the trial created a bias for Aloi. The state Supreme Court rejected this appeal, but sent the case back to appeals court to resolve other disputed issues.

The decision to uphold the original verdict came yesterday by a three-judge panel. With interest, Aloi will be awarded a total of $7.5 million.

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