Jury finds plaintiff 80% negligent in railroad injury trial

David Yates Dec. 9, 2011, 5:35am

A Jefferson County jury found plaintiff Waylon Nalley, a Kansas City Southern Railway employee who sued for injuries he received in a train collision, 80 percent negligent in causing the incident.

Nalley filed his suit against KCS on Dec. 30, 2010, in Jefferson County District Court under the Federal Employers Liability Act.

The case went to trial Nov. 28 and ended nine days later with jurors finding both parties negligent in causing the incident.

According to the charge of the court, filed Dec. 8, jurors found KCS only 20 percent negligent in causing the collision but still decided to award Nalley $10,000 for his past mental anguish and physical pain.

However, jurors did decline to award Nalley any damages for his alleged lost wages, impairment and medical expenses.

Court records show that on Nov. 12, 2008, Nalley was working for KCS in its Beaumont yard when two locomotives rammed into a cut of rail cars, causing him to injure his neck, shoulders and lower back.

According to a motion for summary judgment filed Sept. 22, KCS argued that Nalley caused the collision because he was under the influence barbiturates (sedatives) and failed to do his job as a point man and give the engineer proper instructions.

Conversely, Nalley accused KCS of failing to operate the machines at the required and speed and also negligently failed to train and supervise its employees.

Nalley is represented by attorney Bristol Baxley of the Pearland law firm Rome, Arta & Baxley.

Germer Gertz attorney Mitchell Smith of Beaumont represents KCS.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, presided over the case.

Case No. E189-047

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