Railroad Litigation Attorney in Pittsburgh, PA
Gilardi, Oliver & Lomupo offer support and services for multitude of issues facing railroad workers. Our attorneys are available to meet with clients dealing with the effects of any railroad related incident . Schedule a consultation with our firm for more on our options.
FELA, FRSA & Railroad Retirement
Gilardi, Oliver & Lomupo are the union endorsed legal counsel for the Transport Workers Union and have been representing railroad employees who have been injured during their employment for more than 40 years. Our experienced attorneys have a background prosecuting worker's claims for personal injury and wrongful death under the Federal Employer's Liability Act (FELA). Attorney Richard P. Gilardi is general counsel for the railroad legal aid program, which is endorsed by the Transport Workers Union. The program is a comprehensive means of handling work injuries, whistleblower claims, railroad retirement filings and appeals, benefit issues, and insurance problems.
What is the FELA?
In 1908, Congress passed the Federal Employers' Liability Act, (FELA). This Act was passed in response to the growing number of railroad worker deaths and work-related injuries in the late 1800's and early 1900's. This legislation assures employees have a safe work environment and also provides them and their families the right to compensation if they are involved in a railroad-related accident. From wage loss to medical expenses, you are entitled to recover a number of damages.
As part of the FELA, railroads must provide safe equipment, tools, and working conditions for all staff. If these standards are not met, the railroad is responsible for any injuries or damages suffered as a result.
What Injuries Are Covered by the FELA?
- On the Job Accidents
- Cumulative Trauma/Repetitive Motion Disorders
- Wrongful Death Cases: Protection to Family Members if a Worker Dies from an Accident or Toxic Exposure
Workplace Exposure Injuries caused by exposure to dust, diesel fumes, asbestos, chemicals, noise or other workplace hazards. Injuries can include:
- Lung Conditions
- Heart Conditions
- Hearing Loss
- Welding Rod Exposure/Manganese Poisoning
- Railroad Crossings
What to Do If You Suffer an On-the-Job Injury
- Report the accident to the railroad and fill out the railroad’s accident report, with the assistance of a union officer.
- Seek immediate necessary medical care.
- Write down the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident, and anyone working at the time of the incident, including supervisors and crew members.
Federal Rail Safety Act (FRSA)
Whistleblower protections for railroad employees exist in the Federal Rail Safety Act, 49 USC §20109. This law prohibits railroads from disciplining, discharging, or in any way retaliating against employees who engage in “protected activities.”
Protected Activities Include:
- Reporting Your Work Injury or Occupational Illness
- Reporting the Work Injury or Occupational Injury of a Co-Worker
- Furnishing Information Relating to Any Railroad Injury or Accident
- Reporting a Hazardous Safety Condition
- Refusing to Violate Federal Regulations Relating to Railroad Safety
No Interference with Medical Treatment
Railroads are prohibited from denying, delaying, or interfering with the treatment of an employee who is injured on the job. They are also prohibited from disciplining an employee for following a treating physicians orders when treating for an injury or illness that occurred while the individual was employed.
Statute of Limitations
Please note that your FRSA claim must be filed with OSHA within 180 days of discrimination.
Railroad Retirement Board Benefits
Railroad workers are entitled to access to the Railroad Retirement Board through payroll deduction and matching funds from employers. Two tiers of benefits are available.
Workers are entitled to benefits from the Board if they are sick or injured. For these benefits, you must fill out an application.
To qualify for these benefits, new employees must work at least 5 months in their first year of work. They will qualify in the new benefits year, starting July 1st.
Disability Annuity (Retirement)
Workers with at least 240 months (20 years) of service and who are unable to perform their job duties may qualify for an occupational annuity. You must apply and provide medical evidence from a licensed physician. Our legal representatives are available to help you through the application process.
After serving for at least 120 months (10 years), workers can receive total disability benefits. In these situations, you must prove that you have a permanent medical condition that prevents you from maintaining any type of gainful employment.
Contact us in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to meet with our attorneys for your legal needs. We proudly represent clients throughout the region.