Manual Turnout Switch Machine Lever Injury - Expert Investigation

Railroad engineering expert, Augustine F. Ubaldi, P.E., was retained to determine if the railroad’s actions or omissions created an unreasonably dangerous condition that was the cause of the plaintiff’s injury. Report available for download.

Report available for download in the Details section of this page.

During inclement winter weather, a railroad employee was struck in the face while operating a manual turnout switch machine lever. The employee claimed that the railroad’s actions or omissions created an unreasonably dangerous condition that was the cause of the injury. The railroad alleged that improper action by the employee was the cause.

We showed that the alleged improper actions of the employee could not have caused the lever to strike the employee as it did, and that the railroad’s allegation was not supported by any evidence. We determined that the railroad’s failure to properly maintain the switch machine and its attachments during the inclement weather created an unreasonably dangerous condition that was a cause of the employee’s injury and that the railroad’s failure to provide adequate warnings and training with regard to a stored energy hazard deprived the employee of the information needed to do the job safely.

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