For more than 75 years, Yaeger, Jungbauer & Barczak has been the law firm injured people, railroaders and their families turn to for help at some of the most difficult times of their lives.
YJB dates back to 1929 when Carl L. Yaeger, Sr., the firm’s founder, was named a partner in the firm of Davis, Michel & Yaeger. In the 1950s, two of Carl’s sons, Carl, Jr., and Bill joined the firm and soon after the name became Yaeger & Yaeger. Bill Jungbauer and Ron Barczak began working at Yaeger & Yaeger in the late 1970s. By 1985, Bill and Ron were active partners in the growing law firm and are now senior partners.
The firm has a national reputation for success in our representation of railroad workers injured on the job, seeking compensation under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act or FELA. Recognized as one of the premier FELA firms, we have handled thousands of FELA cases and related actions under the Federal Safety Appliance Act (FSSA) and the Federal Locomotive Inspection Act (LIA). We represent injured railroaders in state and federal courts in more than 40 states.
We are proud to have recovered millions in much needed compensation for injured railroaders in a wide variety of cases including:
- Frank Aloi vs. Union Pacific RR, during which a Denver, Colorado jury returned a verdict of $6 million in damages, at the time the highest FELA verdict in history.
- Hillyard v. Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway, 01-2-34536-2SEA (2003), in which a BNSF Engineer, working as a conductor in Kettle Falls, WA, was operating a pin lifter mechanism that malfunctioned, causing him to slip and amputating his leg below the knee. BNS settled the case after a four-week trial.
- Norfolk & Western Railway Company v. Ayers, in which the firm represented the BLET as amicus curiae before the Supreme Court of the United States in a landmark 2003 decision which protected injured railroad workers and completely thwarted an attempt by the railroad industry to undermine their employees’ rights under the FELA.FELA
- Confidential settlements for several families injured during a spill of anhydrous ammonia during a CP rail derailment near Minot, North Dakota. The YJB team produced evident sufficient to underscore CP's negligence and fault in multiple respects; such as violations of multiple federal safety regulations, CP used old, worn out, undersized 100 pound rail despite knowing it was inadequate, substandard, and inappropriate for such use, CP failed to follow its own internal rules regarding the inspection, maintenance and repair of continuous welded rail, CP discontinued ultrasonic testing which would have detected the cracked joint bar and prevented the derailment, among others (see full article in Winter 2006 Yaeger report).
- A more than $2 million award by a Utah jury to longtime Amtrak engineers Larry Queen and Jerry Cunliffe who suffered career-ending Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on Feb. 15, 1995 when their locomotive was sliced open by a 40 foot long steel beam protruding from a Union Pacific rail car.
- A 1988 case involving a car-train crash in northwestern Illinois, in which the firm obtained a then-record $1,250,000 structured settlement on behalf of a four year old boy, whose mother and unborn sibling were killed in a grade-crossing accident.
- A $1.1 million jury award to an Iowa man who was injured when a group of employees from his company, I&M Rail Link, left a switch open and unlocked, causing his train to improperly enter a track, on a collision course with another train. Randall A. Buck was injured when he jumped from the engine at the last minute, before the trains collided.
- An $800,000 verdict in Detroit for a 48-year old Conrail Engineer who sustained a permanently disabling back injury when an engine handbrake malfunctioned.
- A 500,000 award by a Casper, Wyoming jury to Union Pacific conductor Thomas Murry who was injured when a bus that was transporting him went off Interstate 80 on Halloween in 2003, leaving him permanently disabled. The railroad initially offered Murry a $10,000 settlement.
- A confidential record settlement on behalf of a locomotive engineer involved in a collision between two trains, using the theory of negligent promotion, where the Defendant Railroad certified an engineer who clearly shouldn't have been.
- A confidential record settlement in a single inhalation case, where our client had been trapped in a locomotive engine cab, which started on fire.
- A confidential record settlement in a PTSD (post traumatic-stress disorder) case, where the engineer's train struck a "runaway freight car", leaving the engineer unable to return to work.
- A confidential settlement in a traumatic brain injury case, in which a 61 year old conductor was injured in a caboose derailment case.
- Two cases where the railroad fired the worker for turning in personal injury report forms, assisting the worker's union officials in obtaining the employee's reinstatement with full back pay.
- Smalley v. DWP, 5-88-23 App 90-5326 (1990)
- Albinger v. Burlington Northern, ADV 92-319 (1995)
- Kulavic v. Chicago & Illinois Midland Ry. Co., 1 F.3d 507 (C.A.7 (Ill.) 1993)
- Pikop v. Burlington Northern R. Co., 390 N.W.2d 743 (Minn. 1986)
- Garcia v. Burlington Northern R. Co., 818 F.2d 713 (C.A.10 (Colo.) 1987)
- Stevens v. Baltimore & Ohio R. Co., 915 F.2d 1565, Unpublished (4th Cir 1990)
- Melin v. Burlington Northern R. Co., 401 N.W.2d 418 (Minn. Ct. App 1987)
- Lindsey v. Louisville & Nashville Railroad Co. (as Amicus Curiae), 775 F.2d 1322 (5th Cir. 1985)
Our depth and breadth of experience in the handling of FELA claims extends to our representation of injured people in matters arising from automobile accidents, general negligence, dangerous and defective products and aviation accidents.
Some of our more substantial recoveries include:
- A $12.2 million plus jury verdict for a boiler repairman from Fargo, N.D. who was injured when an improperly maintained pipe broke while he was doing a cost estimate for the Crookston swimming pool, spraying him with 250 degree water and steam that caused third-degree burns over 67 percent of his body.
- A $2.6 million insurance bad faith verdict in Kissoondath v. U.S. Fire Ins. Co., 620 N.W.2d 909 (Minn. Ct, App. 2001). In that case a man and his wife were sitting in their parked pickup truck when they were struck and injured by a taxicab.
- Short v. Dairyland Ins. Co., 334 N.W.2d 384 (Minn. 1983)
- Forster v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 437 N.W.2d 655 (Minn. 1989)
- Myers v. John Deere Ltd., 683 F.2d 270 (C.A.8 (N.D.) 1982)
- Foss v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. (as Amicus Curiae), 1996 Minn. App. LEXIS 1286 (Minn. Ct. App. 1996)
- Lundman v. McKown (as Amicus Curiae) , 530 N.W.2d 807, cert. denied, 516 U.S. 1092 (1996) (Minn. Ct. App. 1995)
Our 13 highly credentialed attorneys along with a skilled support staff of investigators, paralegals, secretaries, file clerks, receptionists and law clerks have the resources and experience to stand up for our injured clients against the large law firms and insurance company claims departments employed by railroads and corporations.
In addition, we have the experience and knowledge to advise clients on a forward-looking basis on ways to protect their families and their livelihood should an accident occur.
The firm takes a collaborative approach to representing clients, meaning that you get the benefit of all of our attorneys’ knowledge and experience working together on your claim.
At Yaeger, Jungbauer & Barczak, each client receives close, individual attention and each case is pursued with the intention of obtaining the best possible result. Our attorneys are skilled litigators and negotiators, who know what to look for and how to assess each client’s injury to ensure that we obtain full value for each case. Six of our attorneys have been selected as “Best Lawyers in America.”
We also employ a nationwide team of field representatives and skilled investigators to make sure we can get to the scene of an accident quickly, preserve evidence, make sure the necessary injury reports are filed and help injured clients and their families resist any pressure to downplay their injuries or to agree to a quick settlement if that is not in their best interest.
The firm’s clients include members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET); the United Transportation Union (UTU), Switchmen, Conductors, Brakemen; the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (BMWE); the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen and the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBBB).
Our firm, while working for all rails, has been officially designated legal counsel by the United Transportation Union (UTU), the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBBB), the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) and the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers.
Our headquarters are in St. Paul, Minn. to better serve our injured clients.
If you or a family member has been injured in a railroad or other accident, call us right away. We will help you understand your rights and what you need to do next. We will advise you on how to respond to railroad or other company representatives, claims agents and insurance company representatives. In the event of an emergency after regular business hours, call our toll free number and we will have one of our staff contact you immediately.