Schlichter Bogard & Denton Obtains Record $20.5 Million Judgment on Behalf of Injured Railroad Worker

Schlichter Bogard & Denton attorneys Nelson Wolff and Andrew Schlichter have obtained a record $20.5 million judgment on behalf of Barry Hoots, a railroad employee who suffered debilitating injuries on October 11, 2014 while working for H&M International Transportation at its Marion, Arkansas, intermodal rail facility. The judgment is believed to be the largest ever obtained in Arkansas on behalf of an injured railroad worker.

Mr. Hoots was injured on his first full day of work for H&M when he was required to perform work while balancing on an approximately six-inch-wide railcar ledge, without handholds, in wet, dark conditions several feet above a concrete platform. Mr. Hoots fell from the ledge onto his head, suffering a severe spinal cord injury as a result. Mr. Hoots now requires a wheelchair and needs assistance from others to eat, bathe, and use the restroom, among other things.

The judgment was entered after a hearing on damages at which multiple former H&M coworkers testified about the company’s dangerous work conditions and inadequate training, supervision, and safety procedures. Experts additionally testified about the unsafe nature of the railroad work Mr. Hoots was required to perform, the extensive medical treatment that Mr. Hoots has required, and the accommodations that Mr. Hoots will require for the duration of his life. 

The case is captioned Hoots v. H&M International Transportation, Inc., No. CV 2016-499 (Crittenden Cnty, Ark). 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