Mr. Hunter’s railroad practice is focused on representation of railroad corporations in civil actions brought by injured employees, trespassers, passengers and third-party contractors. These cases involve casualty claims covering subject matter as wide-ranging and diverse as the railroad industry itself, from the “garden variety” trip and fall cases to the more complex, heavy equipment malfunction and train collision cases involving serious injuries and death to trespassing pedestrians and motorists traversing railway-highway grade crossings. Mr. Hunter has been involved in regular interpretation and application of the relatively large body of railroad-related law which is part and parcel of, for example, the Federal Employers Liability Act, the Federal Safety Appliance Act, the Locomotive Inspection Act, the Pennsylvania Railroad Civil Immunity Act, as well as Federal Railroad Administration regulations and private industry standards and practices.
In addition to handling premises liability matters on behalf of commercial property owners such as restaurant franchisees, Mr. Hunter is also involved in the representation of automobile manufacturers in cases involving claims of exposure to asbestos found in automobile brake components and gaskets.
AREAS OF EXPERIENCE
•Precluded a plaintiff’s medical expert from testifying in a cumulative trauma case on the grounds that the methodology employed by the expert in diagnosing the cause of injury was unreliable under the Daubert standards governing admission of expert opinion testimony in federal courts. Faced with the prospect of proceeding without an expert to support his claims, the ruling forced plaintiff to settle the case for a minimal amount.
•Obtained an order granting summary judgment in favor of a railroad client in an equipment failure case brought by an injured employee pursuant to the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). The FELA’s relaxed standard of causation, which allows cases involving even the most tenuous causal link between the actions of the railroad and the employee’s injuries to reach the jury, served as a “high bar” over which to jump in terms of obtaining a ruling in the railroad’s favor.
•Successfully settled a double fatality case involving two trespassers (both high-income earners) who were struck and killed by a freight train. Due to the fact that the operating crew did not sound the horn or apply the brakes until the moment of impact, liability rested strongly in favor of plaintiffs, especially in the notoriously pro-plaintiff, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas jury pool. Also, the trespassers were high-income earners in their 40’s. Consequently, the client faced a potential 8-figure verdict against them for each of the plaintiffs if the case had gone to trial and reached the jury.
•Brandywine Youth Association: coach and administrator, 2012-present.
•Malvern Basketball League: coach, 2017-present.
•Chesapeake Bay Foundation: member, 2009-present.
Schnader Welcomes New Associates
•Pennsylvania Bar Association, Member
•Philadelphia Bar Association, Member
•National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, Member
•Keystone State Railroad Association, Member
•American Short Line & Regional Rail Association, Member
•Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy, Member
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