Railroad

For more than one hundred years, Chaffe McCall has represented railroads and related businesses.  Our attorneys have served as general and district counsel to a number of railroad companies, and we have defended one such railroad for over a century without interruption.  Our practical understanding of railroad operations gained from this vast experience with a broad variety of issues in the industry allows our team to work closely and efficiently with our railroad clients to develop strategies that generate positive results in a cost-effective manner.

We continue to expand the firm’s practice by successfully counseling and advising Class One and shortline railroads in many areas, including:

  • Personal injury claims and investigations involving the Federal Employer’s Liability Act, the Safety Appliance Act, and the Locomotive Inspection Act
  • Crossing-accident and fatality claims and investigations
  • Indemnity agreements and third-party recovery claims
  • Environmental counseling and claims
  • Mass torts and class actions
  • Bridge, railroad-equipment, and property-damage claims
  • Labor and employment
  • Right-of-way disputes
  • Freight, demurrage, and Carmack Amendment issues
  • Commercial disputes
  • Property and mineral rights
  • Condemnation and expropriation

Our lawyers practice before state and federal courts in Louisiana and throughout the United States.  In complex personal-injury and commercial litigation, we have access to the resources of the firm’s other practice areas to provide seamless service and a quick turnaround.  We seek creative, value-added solutions, using measures designed to efficiently achieve the best result for our clients.

With each case, we begin with a full understanding of the client’s business and strategies and evaluate how the dispute may impact them.  Then we assess risk and develop the best cost-benefit solution to meet the client’s business goals, which may include traditional litigation, mediation, or settlement negotiations.  No matter which strategy the client chooses, however, we play to win.  Our attorneys are experienced trial lawyers, who are skilled in all methods of dispute resolution and have a reputation for successfully handling the most challenging cases.

Examples of our select experience:

  • In re: Katrina Canal Breaches Litigation, No. 05-4182, 2009 WL 224072 (E.D. La. Jan. 26, 2009) (we obtained summary judgments on thousands of flooding claims, on preemption and no-duty grounds.  Brent Talbot was appointed Railroad Liaison Counsel in this complex litigation).
  • Alday v. CSX Transportation, Inc., 929 So. 2d 1094 (La. App. 4 Cir. 2008) (we won a directed verdict in favor of our client in a bench trial under the FELA, and successfully defended an appeal and defeated the plaintiff’s application to the Louisiana Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari).
  • Lane v. R.A. Sims, Jr., Inc., 241 F.3d 439 (5th Cir. 2001) (we filed an amicus brief for the Association of American Railroads concerning the application of the Federal Railroad Safety Act, 49 U.S.C. §§ 20101-53, and train-speed regulations promulgated thereunder, in a railroad employee’s action under the FELA, 49 U.S.C. §§ 51-60).
  • Navarre, et al. v. CSX Transportation, Inc. and Illinois Central Railroad, No. 2006-20 (Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans) (the district court maintained our exceptions of no cause of action and dismissed a class action for injuries and damages caused by a tank-car leak and ensuing evacuation, and the plaintiff’s appeal was later dismissed).
  • Miciotto v. Brown, et al., No. 02-1485, 2003 WL 22326559 (E.D. La. Oct. 6, 2003) (the court granted our motion for summary judgment on behalf of Amtrak and Canadian National Railroad/Illinois Central Railroad in an engineer’s FELA claim arising out of a crossing accident).
  • Bodenheimer v. New Orleans Public Belt, 2001-0889 (La. App. 4 Cir. 9/11/02); 828 So. 2d 77 & 200-0441 (La. App. 4 Cir. 5/14/03); 845 So. 2d 1279 (we obtained a verdict for CSX awarding attorney’s fees and damages for indemnification).

Representative Clients:

  • Acadiana Railway Company
  • Association of American Railroads
  • Baton Rouge Southern Railroad, LLC
  • CSX Transportation, Inc.
  • Louisiana & Delta Railroad Company
  • Louisiana Southern Railroad, LLC
  • National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak)
  • New Orleans Public Belt Railroad
  • Timber Rock Railroad, LLC
  • Vicksburg Southern Railroad, LLC
  • Watco Companies, LLC

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