After serving in the United States Army, our client started a new career. He became a dedicated and hard-working railroad machinist for PATH, a subsidiary of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. It was his job to repair and rebuild PATH train components. One day, our client suffered a serious right thumb injury that prevented him from handling some tools and performing the tasks that are required of a machinist.

His PATH Job Changed After His Injury—For a Time

As a result of his injury, the Port Authority medical department personnel permanently restricted our client from ever performing the work as a machinist in the pump room. Consequently, he was assigned light duty work that fit within his restrictions and also allowed him to continue his career with PATH. That was in 1989.

After 15 years of light work duty, our client was informed by the human resources department that he could no longer be offered light duty work, but that he would be provided with a glove for his right hand if he returned to work as a machinist in the pump room. If he did not return to work as a machinist in the pump room, then he would lose his job.

Our client needed the job to support his family and had no choice but to return to work as a machinist and perform the work that the Port Authority’s medical department had previously found him physically unfit to perform.

His Return to Work Made His Work-Related Injury Worse

After our client returned to work as a machinist, as he was required to do to keep his job, he began to develop pain in his neck and his right arm. As a dedicated employee, he continued to work until the pain became unbearable. At that time the Port Authority Medical Department once again found him permanently unfit to perform the duties of a machinist in the pump room.

Our Railroad Accident Lawyers Secured a Fair Recovery for Our Client at Trial

Our client contacted us for help after his second injury. At trial, the attorneys at Hofmann & Schweitzer successfully showed that the railroad had a duty under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) to provide our client with a safe work place and that returning him to full duty work against the advice of its own medical staff created an unsafe work environment.

The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff in the amount of $657,264.00 to compensate him for the daily pain that he has endured for years and for the impact the Port Authority’s negligent assignment has on his life.    

PATH workers, like our client, and other New York railroad workers deserve to make fair recoveries for any work-related injuries that they suffer. If you have been hurt in a railroad accident in any of New York City’s five boroughs, then we encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation about your rights and your potential recovery. Call us directly or reach out to us via this website to learn more.


Paul T. Hofmann
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Focused on personal injury, with an emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims.

DISCLAIMER: The results are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the clients' cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client's case.