New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) employee Louis Moore, 58, died in April when he fell onto the tracks and into the path of an oncoming train. The father of three was walking along a catwalk above the tracks when his equipment bag seemed to get caught on a gate and he fell.

While Mr. Moore’s on-the-job death is the first for a NYC MTA employee since 2010, some commentators have questioned whether workplace safety is given sufficiently serious treatment by rail companies. They say these companies pay lip service to the regulations but suppress and take retaliatory actions against reports of safety issues. In instances where death occurs as a result of such negligence, bereaved family members of employees are entitled to seek compensation under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA).

If you lose a loved one due to a railroad work accident or workplace related illness, you may be able to claim compensation under FELA for employer negligence. Federal law passes the right to sue to the deceased’s personal representative, for the benefit of the surviving widow or husband and children. In the absence of such family members, the benefit of any compensation passes to the parents of the deceased, followed by a dependent next of kin.

Surviving family members can claim compensation for:

  • Monetary losses. This includes any income the deceased would have provided for the family had they survived, as well as the cost of any bereavement counseling.
  • Pain and suffering. You can recover for any pain and suffering your loved one suffered up until the point of death.

If you have lost a loved one due to a railroad workplace accident or illness, make sure to contact a knowledgeable St. Paul railroad law attorney as soon as possible.