DAMAGE APPORTIONMENT UNDER FELA - CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC. V. JOEL DON MILLER
Cunningham Bounds LLC
CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Joel Don Miller,
[Ms. 1071507, March 19, 2010] __ So. 3d. __ (Ala. 2010), Miller worked
for CSX for 36 years as conductor, brakeman, and flagman. He developed
cervical radiculopathy and sued CSX for his injuries under FELA. He alleged
numerous theories of liability, including defective maintenance of rail
track and defective locomotive seats. The jury returned a $450,000 verdict
in Miller's favor. FELA allows for apportionment of damages to reflect
a plaintiff's contributory negligence, and on appeal CSX argued that
the trial court erroneously rejected defendants' proposed jury charges
and special-verdict forms relating to the apportionment of damages. The
Alabama Supreme Court found the basic charge and the basic verdict form
used by the trial court were accurate statements of the law and that the
trial court did not exceed its discretion in rejecting the defendants'
proposed charges and verdict form. The verdict was affirmed.