CSX seeks to vacate settlement with injured employee

By Nicholas Malfitano | Feb 18, 2016

CSX Transportation  

PHILADELPHIA – A former railroad worker’s alleged failure to sign and return a settlement agreement has his former employer seeking to strike the settlement and dismiss his complaint in its entirety.

On Dec. 23, Mary C. Doherty filed a motion to dismiss in a case brought by Mark T. Christopher of Union, Ky., against CSX Transportation of Richmond, Va. Doherty’s dismissal motion is based on Christopher’s alleged ignoring of a court order dated Aug. 27 of last year.

According to Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas records, a settlement had been reached in Christopher’s personal injury suit in August 2011. However, Doherty said Christopher did not execute and return the final settlement release, forcing CSX to file a motion to enforce the settlement last July.

Judge Nina Wright Padilla granted the settlement enforcement motion on Aug. 27, and ordered Christopher to execute and return the final settlement release within 30 days. When Christopher failed to do this, defense counsel notified Padilla.

On Oct. 5, plaintiff counsel Patrick J. Finn promised he would have Christopher sign and return the settlement release immediately, but ultimately, the release was not signed or submitted to defense counsel and the Court.

Now, defense counsel seeks the striking of the prior settlement agreement and the dismissal of Christopher’s claims in their entirety and with prejudice.

A hearing in this matter was set for Tuesday in Court chambers, at Philadelphia City Hall.

From 1978 to 2009, Christopher alleges in his duties with CSX in Olive Hill, Ky. and at Queensgate in Cincinnati, Ohio, he was exposed to “excessive and harmful cumulative trauma” to his knees; from the bending, crawling, kneeling, squatting, climbing and walking on uneven or unleveled ballast, while working for the defendant.

Less than three years before filing his suit in November 2009, Christopher discovered he suffered a right knee tear due to repetitive, occupational trauma, which required surgery. Christopher alleges CSX failed to provide a safe work environment, and said failure resulted in the repetitive trauma to his knees and subsequent injuries.

The plaintiff is seeking damages not in excess of $50,000 in this case.

The plaintiff is represented by Don P. Palermo of Hannon & Palermo in Media, Finn in Philadelphia and Elyse G. Crawford of Parker McCay in Mount Laurel, N.J.

The defendant is represented by Michael B. Flynn, Lori A. Wirkus and Heather M. Gamache of Flynn Wirkus Young in Quincy, Mass., plus A. Jordan Rushie of Rushie Law and Doherty of Duane Morris, both in Philadelphia,

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 091103807

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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