The Sussman Shank railroad group is a team of lawyers with deep, industry-specific experience and knowledge that can’t be found elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest. We counsel railroads on many issues and help them navigate the labyrinth of specialized industry-related laws and regulations.
Our railroad team has 75+ years of experience advocating for and defending railroad companies, including large Class 1 freight railroads, short lines, and commuter lines. We handle the diverse scope of issues and services that the industry demands.
Our specialties include responding to, investigating, and defending crossing accidents and injury claims brought under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), the Federal Safety Appliance Act (SAA), the Locomotive Inspection Act (LIA), and the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA). We also defend toxic tort claims, such as silica and asbestos exposure claims.
There is no substitute for experience in these specialized areas of the law, and our team has that experience. We have extensively handled and litigated every aspect of these high-stakes cases, from initial evidence preservation and investigation through motion practice and trial. Our experience allows us to quickly identify the key legal and factual issues necessary for the best defense of the case, and also to identify and recommend the most qualified and appropriate expert witnesses. We stay abreast of the latest tactics and arguments from the plaintiffs’ bar, and the best strategies in responding to the same.
Our team also specializes in representing railroad companies in areas beyond injury litigation. These areas include defending against employment claims, as well as representing our railroad clients in real estate and property law cases, particularly those related to railroad crossings and real property disputes surrounding railroad rights-of-way. Often crossing cases arise due to development or other factors, such as when a formerly lightly-traveled crossing begins to receive heavy use.