Sayler, Bolt Hoffer Boyd Secure Jury Verdict, Record Sanctions Against BNSF

A Minnesota appeals court recently upheld a $15,343,753 jury verdict award in the case of Scott Kowalewski versus BNSF Railway Company. The court also approved an additional $5,846,281 in sanctions, awarded for BNSF’s “pervasive” discovery abuses and destruction of critical evidence. The verdict is the largest FELA (Federal Employers Liability Act) ruling in Minnesota history, and the sanctions award is the largest of its kind in the nation. Despite the seriousness of Kowalewski’s injuries and the breadth of the railway company’s misconduct, BNSF’s offer both before trial and on appeal was $0. On January 14, 2014, Kowalewski and a co-worker…

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Record-Setting FELA Verdict

A Hennepin County jury awarded a record-setting FELA verdict of $15,343,753 to Scott Kowalewski for severe and progressive neurological injuries he suffered while working in a BNSF railroad yard in 2014. The accident happened when BNSF mishandled tanker cars carrying toxic petrochemicals in the railyard, causing the cars to vent poisonous gas where Mr. Kowalewski was working. The cars were being hauled through the BNSF Northtown Yard in Minneapolis on their way to Canada. Attorney Joe Sayler of the Bolt Hoffer Boyd Law Firm was Co-Counsel on the trial team. Scott Kowalewski experienced serious neurological problems immediately after he was…

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