GREAT FALLS, Mont. — A jury has awarded a former BNSF Railway Co. employee $1.7 million in damages in a civil lawsuit.
The Great Falls Tribune reports jurors on Wednesday found BNSF negligently injured Robert Dannels’ spine by assigning him work that caused trauma over the course of his career, which ended when the skid steer he was driving struck a metal pole as he was removing snow in the Havre area in March 2010.
Dannels said he was thrown against the cab and he felt a popping sensation in his back.
Dannels’ attorneys argued that railroad workers are entitled to a safe place to work and the proper tools, equipment and manpower to do the job.
The defendants argued Dannels’ injuries were caused by mild degenerative changes consistent with his age and lifestyle outside the workforce.