KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Jan. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- After three years of legal wrangling, the tides of justice are finally turning back in favor of the now-deceased CSX railroad switchman and his legal estate in a case against CSX railroad. The Estate of Winston Payne, a former CSX switchman who lost his life to lung cancer, obtained an 8.6 million dollar verdict from a Knoxville, Tennessee jury in November 2010. Later, the trial judge granted CSX a new trial. However, before the second trial, a Knoxville Circuit Court judge dismissed the case entirely.
The Tennessee Court of Appeals decided that the estate Mr. Payne should now receive the original jury verdict, unless the trial judge now determines that the verdict is contrary to the evidence presented.
Mr. Payne worked for CSX for 40 years - from 1962 to 2002. During his four-decade career with CSX, Mr. Payne was exposed to asbestos, diesel exhaust fumes, and radiation, including enriched uranium and plutonium. In 2005, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and had to endure 43 rounds of chemotherapy and 44 radiation treatments.
In 2007, Mr. Payne hired Richard N. Shapiro, an attorney experienced in representing railroad workers who filed a claim under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (i.e. FELA) against CSX railroad. The lawsuit alleged that CSX was negligent for exposing Mr. Payne to a litany of toxic chemicals and fumes and violated numerous safety regulations that were enacted specifically to reduce the risk of harm to railroad employees.
Sadly, Mr. Payne passed away before his case went to trial. Mr. Payne was survived by his wife, who was his representative at the trial. After one of the longest civil jury trials in Knoxville in over a decade, the jury returned an $8.6 Million dollar verdict, finding that CSX violated a bevy of safety regulations, and was negligent in exposing him to the toxic substances.
The final chapter of this multi-year saga has not yet been written, but the Court of Appeals' decision indicates that justice be restored. Richard Shapiro has worked on this case for seven years. His tireless efforts, along with Knoxville attorney Sidney Gilreath, continues, as CSX may further appeal the ruling to the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Contact: Patrick Austin, 757-460-7776
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SOURCE HS Injury Law