Search Site
Menu
FRSA Whistleblower Receives $1.6 Million in Jury Verdict

A Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) whistleblower has received $1.6 million in a jury verdict after he was fired by BNSF for performing a safety check on an air brake on a train carrying hazardous materials.

In his complaint, the plaintiff claimed that he was terminated for conducting the safety check after a supervisor told him to skip it. He argued that performing the check was protected activity under the FRSA, while attorneys from BNSF said that the safety check was unnecessary and not required under federal law. The company also claimed that the plaintiff moved ahead with the procedure simply to slow down service and earn more wages.

Jury trial comes after conflicted rulings

Back in 2011, an arbitration panel had ruled in favor of BNSF, while the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ruled in favor of the plaintiff two years later. Because of this conflict, the case was moved to federal court, where the plaintiff won his jury verdict earlier this year.

As a result of the verdict, BNSF must pay the man a total of $1.6 million to cover back pay, front pay, pain and suffering damages and punitive damages. Although it took several years, it looks like the whistleblower will be properly rewarded for doing what he believed to be the right thing — especially considering the fact that he was performing a standard safety check on potentially hazardous rail cars.

To learn more about the protections available to whistleblowers under the FRSA and various other federal laws, consult a knowledgeable attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers in Dallas, Texas.

Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    #600
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
Testimonials
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

FOLLOW US
Facebook Twitter Linkedin RSS Feed JD Supra