Schlichter Bogard Senior Partner Nelson Wolff Featured in Landmark ProPublica Article on Rail Safety Highlighting Schlichter Bogard’s Record-Breaking Verdict in Cole v. KCS

Last year, Schlichter Bogard obtained a record-breaking $12 million verdict on behalf of injured switchman Christopher Cole against his employer, Kansas City Southern Railway (“KCS”) – the largest railroad injury verdict in St. Louis County history. Mr. Cole and Schlichter Bogard Senior Partner Nelson Wolff have now been featured in a landmark ProPublica article highlighting serious and persistent safety abuses in the rail industry, including those that led to Mr. Cole’s injuries.  

In 2020, Mr. Cole was injured while aboard a freight train in Godfrey, Illinois, when he was struck by a sign placed dangerously close to the tracks. The resulting fall caused both of Mr. Cole’s legs to be crushed beneath the moving train. He was airlifted to BJC Medical Center in St. Louis, where he underwent emergency surgery and had both of his legs amputated. He was subsequently subjected to nine additional surgeries before being fitted for prosthetic limbs.  

The December 19, 2023 ProPublica article describes the significant struggles Mr. Cole confronted, as well as the numerous obstacles he and Schlichter Bogard were forced to overcome in order to obtain justice – including, as described by Mr. Wolff, an “obvious attempt [by KCS] to change the narrative and to conceal evidence that the sign was the actual cause” of Mr. Cole’s injuries. 

For more information about Schlichter Bogard’s Railroad Injury practice, please contact us at 1-888-689-7083 or via email at