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DAMAGE APPORTIONMENT UNDER FELA - CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC. V. JOEL DON MILLER

In 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.

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