Schlichter Bogard & Denton Attorney Michael Wolff Obtains Significant Appellate Victory in Railroad Injury Case

Schlichter Bogard & Denton attorney Michael Wolff has obtained an important victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on behalf of an injured railroad worker.  The victory has significant implications for cases brought by railroad workers under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (“FELA”).

The case involved the question of whether lost-wages damages awarded to an injured railroad worker under the FELA should be reduced by the amount of the taxes that the worker would have paid on those wages under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act (“RRTA”).  BNSF argued that an injured railroad worker’s recovery should be reduced by the amount of RRTA taxes.  Schlichter Bogard & Denton opposed that position, and argued that courts should not deduct RRTA taxes from injured railroad workers’ damages awards. 

The Eighth Circuit agreed with Schlichter Bogard & Denton, and found that RRTA taxes should not be deducted from damages awarded to injured railroad workers.  Because the Eighth Circuit is the first U.S. Circuit Court to rule on this issue, its opinion will have considerable precedential importance moving forward.  Accordingly, this is a significant victory for railroad workers throughout the country, and follows other significant Schlichter Bogard & Denton appellate victories on this and related issues affecting railroad workers, including in the Missouri Supreme Court in Mickey v. BNSF Railway Co., No. SC93591.   

The full opinion is available here.  The case is captioned Loos v. BNSF Railway Co., No. 15-3355 (8th Cir.).  For more information about Schlichter Bogard & Denton’s Railroad Injury practice, please contact Schlichter Bogard & Denton at 1-800-873-5297 or sbd@uselaws.com.