Hearing-Impaired Train Conductor Wins $44M Bias Verdict

By Cara Salvatore (July 2, 2021, 10:12 PM EDT) -- Railroad giant Union Pacific owes $44 million to a hearing-impaired conductor who was subjected to more stringent hearing tests than unimpaired workers and failed, a Wisconsin federal jury said Thursday.

After four days of trial, the jury in Madison said Union Pacific's treatment of longtime conductor Mark Mlsna as the railroad instituted new hearing testing in 2014 was egregiously bad. Over $40 million of the damages were punitive.

After the Federal Railroad Administration updated conductor-certification regulations in 2012, Union Pacific tested Mlsna's hearing in 2014 — but made him wear hearing protection during the test, something unimpaired workers were not made to...

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