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Commercial Transportation

The Commercial Transportation Practice Group at Arthur Chapman has become a nationally-recognized leader in the defense of commercial transportation claims, including those claims involving Class 1 railroads, national trucking companies, bus and shuttle van companies, medical transportation companies, airlines, and other entities involved in commercial transportation.

A railroad employee hurt on the job may be entitled to recover damages from his or her employer under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). FELA permits railroad employees to recover for any injury “resulting in whole or in part from the negligence of any of the officers, agents, or employees of [the railroad], or by reason of any defect or insufficiency, due to its negligence, in its cars, engines, appliances, machinery, tracks, roadbeds, works, boats, wharves or other equipment.” Recovery under FELA is the exclusive remedy for railroad employees injured on the job.

Our attorneys act as counsel for Class 1 railroads, specializing in FELA and crossing cases. We have litigated Class 1 railroad cases throughout the country. Our litigation efforts have taken us to all levels of the court system, including appellate courts in numerous jurisdictions; however, our experience in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) allows us to evaluate a case early and determine the proper ADR forum.

Our trucking industry clients include corporate clients as well as their insurers. We provide representation in tort claims, workers’ compensation claims, contract claims, and freight claims. We have litigated cases ranging from catastrophic losses and accidents to small property damage claims.

The Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Act provides workers’ compensation benefits to maritime employees, excluding seamen who are injured upon the navigable waters of the United States (including adjoining areas customarily used in loading, unloading, repairing, dismantling, or building a vessel). Seamen and other workers on board vessels are covered under the Jones Act. We are fortunate to have attorneys who have experience in both the federally administered benefit programs and also in the states adjacent to the navigable waters of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. This is exceedingly helpful where concurrent jurisdiction, choice of law, or conflict of law issues come into play.

Representative Cases

FELA: Defense verdict in Nebraska railroad shuttle van case in which plaintiff claimed over $2 million damages, but jury found no negligence against railroad and van company.

FELA: Idaho shuttle van case with admitted liability. Case tried to verdict with resulting damages less than plaintiff would have accepted to settle case.

Railroad Crossing Case: Favorable settlement in complex crossing case with engineer claiming PTSD following crossing accident with truck.

Taxi Case: Represented a taxi cab driver in a case where we successfully argued at trial court and at Minnesota Court of Appeals that the driver was an agent of the cab company and, thus, the cab company was precluded from recovering from the alleged at-fault driver/defendant. Our driver's fault was imputed to the cab company, thereby precluding any recovery.

Medical Transportation Case: Favorable settlement of case involving injury to passenger with preexisting multiple medical issues; case involved sorting out preexisting conditions from those related to accident.