ILNews

Federal judge: No new jury trial, judgment

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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A federal judge in Fort Wayne won't give a former train conductor a new trial relating to injuries he sustained during work.

The decision from U.S. District Judge William C. Lee in the Northern District came Thursday in Terry Lee Wilcox v. CSX Transportation. The case involved claims by the 30-year employee that he couldn't work following injuries he developed over time that resulted in more specific injuries in 2002 and 2004. After a five-day trial in October, the jury decided in favor of the railroad company.

But Wilcox asked Judge Lee to set aside the verdict, maintaining that it was contrary to the clear weight of the evidence and that the "evidence adduced at trial of this action points so strongly and overwhelmingly in favor of Plaintiff that reasonable jurors could only arrive at a verdict in Plaintiff's favor."

Judge Lee declined to do that, saying that Wilcox failed to provide any evidence supporting negligence, the issues were not overly complex, the evidence was not in dispute, and there was no "pernicious or undesirable occurrence at trial."

"The true crux of Wilcox's argument in his motion for a new trial or judgment as a matter of law is that the jury's verdict was simply wrong," Judge Lee wrote. "Wilcox is understandably disappointed with the outcome at trial, as any losing party would be. No doubt this disappointment is compounded by the fact that a plaintiff in a FELA (Federal Employers' Liability Act) action carries a rather 'featherweight' burden of proof."

The judge added, "In this case, Wilcox has not met his burden of establishing that he is entitled either to a new trial or to a judgment as a matter of law. He has not raised any issue that establishes that the jury's verdict was clearly erroneous or that the trial - or any part of it - was manifestly unfair to him."
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  1. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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