David Locke of Stuart & Branigin Obtains Defense Verdict in Federal Court Jury Trial

Stuart & Branigin Lawyers | Lafayette, Indiana

Following a four-day trial, a federal jury returned a verdict in favor of Norfolk Southern Railway Company in a case defended by Stuart & Branigin partner David Locke. Judge Jon DeGuilio presided over the trial in Lyle Dohse v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co. in the U.S. District Court in South Bend.

The plaintiff, Lyle Dohse, worked as a carman in Norfolk Southern’s mechanical department in Elkhart Yard. In March 2010 Mr. Dohse was diagnosed with bilateral shoulder osteoarthritis, which he claimed his employer negligently caused by subjecting him to repetitive stress in the working gang leader job he held from August 2004 to June 2009. He filed suit against Norfolk Southern under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, 45 U.S.C. ‘ 51, et seq., in March 2011. Norfolk Southern defended the action by showing the jury that Mr. Dohse’s work was not repetitive in nature, and some of the tasks he claimed caused his arthritis were not requirements of his job but instead were the responsibility of the conductor on his crew. The eight-member jury deliberated for two hours and forty minutes before returning a unanimous verdict in favor of Norfolk Southern.

Norfolk Southern Railway Company is a Class I railroad with 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Stuart & Branigin has a longstanding relationship with Norfolk Southern and handles all of its litigation in Indiana, as well as some cases in eastern Illinois and northern Kentucky.

Stuart & Branigin was founded in 1878 in Lafayette, Indiana. Our experienced and knowledgeable lawyers provide trusted counsel to local, regional and national clients. Our firm is composed of five practice groups, Corporate and Non-Profit, Litigation, Personal Injury, Private Client Services, and Transportation.