‘I Think the Jury Got Mad’

     BELLEVILLE, Ill. (CN) – A St. Clair County jury awarded $2 million to a former conductor for CSX Transportation in a Federal Employer’s Liability Act case. The man’s attorney said “I think the jury got mad” because CSX claimed the injured man could not meet a federal standard that does not exist.

     Roger Bennett claimed he injured his shoulder in 2003 when he was slammed into a train windshield. Bennett said he was reaching for a radio at the time and that CSX created a dangerous work environment by failing to replace the malfunctioning radio.
     The jury awarded $750,000 for pain and suffering, $750,000 for disability, $500,000 for lost wages and $10,000 for disfigurement.
     Ryan Brennan, Bennett’s attorney, told the Madison County Record that his client’s case was one of “good and evil.”
     Brennan cited testimony that showed CSX fired Bennett after he was injured, because a company physical showed that Bennett failed to meet federal hearing standards – even though such standards do not exist.
     “It was a lie,” Brennan told the Record. “And I think the jury got mad.”
     It is the second recent large jury award against CSX in the area.
     On May 11, a jury in neighboring Madison County awarded a conductor $2.56 million for his claim that he almost was killed and suffered a torn rotator cuff and post-traumatic stress disorder after his train hit downed power lines in Kentucky 6 years ago.

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