Los Angeles Jury Awards $58M to Injured Train Yard Worker

May 23, 2024

A Los Angeles jury awarded $58 million to a train yard worker who slipped and fell on top of a train while performing electrical repairs at Kinkisharyo International’s Palmdale train manufacturing yard.

According to the lawsuit, Pablo Scipione, 46, of Palmdale, was working as an independent contractor for Altech Services when he was called into work at 2 a.m. and told by his supervisor that the repairs had to be completed by 5 a.m. a.m. After taking only a few steps, he slipped and suffered a micro-fracture in his left foot.

Following the incident, Scipione went back to work the next day and worked full-time for nearly a year-and-a-half. Two months after his fall, he visited a foot doctor for the first time and received surgery, after which he was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome, a debilitating disease that reportedly forced him out of work.

The lawsuit says Kinkisharyo was responsible for ensuring every employee’s safety, but the defendant required a demanding pace of work that didn’t take worker safety into account.

According to the complaint, the Kinkisharyo’s negligent attitude toward worker safety and unreasonable timeline to complete the repairs caused the man’s injuries.

Throughout the trial, Kinkisharyo disputed liability, arguing the plaintiff was its employee and that he could only seek recovery for his injuries through the workers’ compensation system. The jury unanimously rejected that defense. The defense also disputed how the fall happened, how the plaintiff fractured his foot, the CRPS diagnoses and the nature and extent of every category of the plaintiff’s damages.

The jury found in favor of the plaintiff and awarded compensatory damages of $54,158,431.00, and $4,200,000 in punitive damages.

Scipione was represented by Alexander R. Wheeler and Khail A. Parris of PARRIS Law Firm. Kinkisharyo was represented by Bradford DeJarin and Patricia Ball Alberts of Husch Blackwell.

The case is Pablo Scipione v. Kinkisharyo International LLC.

“Not only did the jury recognize our client’s suffering, they also sent a strong signal to Kinkisharyo by awarding punitive damages,” Wheeler said.

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