Garrison, Levin-Epstein Partner Steve Fitzgerald Obtains $11+ Million Jury Verdict for Injured Railroad Worker

Mar 21 2023

Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti is proud to announce that, after a week-long trial in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, firm partner Steve Fitzgerald received a jury verdict of more than $11.6 million on behalf of his client, Scott Lupia.

Mr. Lupia worked as a locomotive engineer at New Jersey Transit and, as the jury concluded, was seriously injured due to the negligence of his managers. On a hot summer day in 2020, the managers ordered Mr. Lupia to drive a train with a malfunctioning cab air conditioning unit and measured cab temperatures of 114 degrees. After about 40 minutes driving the locomotive, and after safely delivering his passengers to their station in northern New Jersey, Mr. Lupia collapsed from heat exhaustion, smacking his head against a hard metal surface.

Two-and-a-half years and three surgeries later, Mr. Lupia still has permanent hearing loss, permanent double vision, and near constant balance and dizziness difficulties from inner ear damage. He can no longer work as a locomotive engineer and likely will never hold a fulltime job.

The case involved claims under two federal statutes that apply to injuries to railroad workers: the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) and the Locomotive Inspection Act (LIA). (Railroad workers are exempted from state workers’ compensation systems, which otherwise limit the ability of injured workers to recover monetary damages.)

We are grateful for the opportunity to represent Mr. Lupia and his family and to achieve this measure of justice on his behalf.

This verdict is the latest significant victory for Garrison, Levin-Epstein’s railroad injury practice, coming shortly after settlements of $1.5 million and $2.5 million.

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