Article

In a recent case, Railroad Engineering Expert, Gus Ubaldi, P.E. was retained to investigate a matter in which a railroad employee was injured when a switch he was operating struck him in the face. We provide a synopsis of his involvement along with a redacted version of his report on this page.

Railroad Employee Injured

A railroad employee was delivering boxcars to an industry on tracks owned and maintained by the industry. He was operating a remote-controlled train and as he approached a turnout, he saw that the switch was lined against him. Unable to stop in time, the employee dismounted his moving train, and attempted to line the turnout for his move. He was unsuccessful and the train ran through the switch, causing the components to “blow apart” resulting in injury to the employee.

Robson Forensic Railroad Engineering Expert, Gus Ubaldi, P.E. was engaged to opine if the industry’s maintenance of the turnout and its components was improper in a manner that was a cause of the employee’s injuries.

The allegations against the industry concerned the position of the switch against the train and improper operation, construction and maintenance of the switch allowing the handle to strike the employee.

Mr. Ubaldi opined that the industry’s actions regarding track inspection and track maintenance, switch alignment, and switch operations were reasonable and proper. He further opined that the switch failed in an “explosive” manner because the employee ran the train through it, not because of any defect in the switch, noting that the Industry had no responsibility for railroad or train crew actions. Had the employee acted in a manner consistent with railroad rules, the injury would not have occurred.

Download Redacted Case Report

Railroad Engineering Investigations

Our railroad experts bring decades of experience in railroad engineering from the perspectives of both designer and user. As construction engineers and maintenance-of-way supervisors, our experts are uniquely qualified to provide accurate and realistic assessments of planning, design, construction, and inspection of railroads.

For more information visit our Railroad Engineering practice page

 

Featured Expert

Augustine F. Ubaldi, P.E.

Gus Ubaldi, P.E. has investigated numerous railroad employee injury cases. These cases have involved injuries sustained while walking on track, operating switch machines or climbing on and off equipment, both for the plaintiff and for the defense.

Gus has been involved with Class I and Class III railroads and major transit systems in a variety of railroad engineering positions including engineering director for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority as well as consulting engineering and track supervisor roles for Penn Central. Gus designed and provided construction management for track structure, station and bridge repairs, and yard track improvements. He also conducted track inspections and performed maintenance. Gus is a licensed professional engineer in multiple states.