GTP Classic: Paula Jossart | Scott Kowalewski v. BNSF Railway Company | $15.3 million verdict + $4.6 million misconduct penalty + attorney’s fees


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This week we're replaying a classic episode where your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Paula Jossart of Jossart Law Office, LLC (

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Episode Details:

Award-winning Minnesota personal injury lawyer Paula Jossart of Jossart Law Office, LLC discusses how she secured justice for Scott Kowalewski, a switchman who was exposed to toxic hydrocarbons while working at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) Northtown Yard in Minneapolis in 2014 and, as a result, suffered a severe neurological injury. Rail cars carrying hazardous chemicals from a fracking site in Texas leaked, causing Scott to feel a burning pain in his chest and to lose consciousness. Scott was later diagnosed with a progressive neurological disorder, which significantly diminishes his motor function, making it difficult to swallow, write, get out of bed or perform everyday tasks. Despite BNSF's claims that the company is not responsible for Scott's health problems and many evidence and discovery abuses, a Hennepin County, Minnesota jury returned a verdict of $15,343,753 in damages against BNSF for violating the Federal Employers' Liability Act. Following the jury trial, Judge Amy Dawson assigned a $4.6 million misconduct penalty to BNSF for concealing and destroying evidence related to the case, paying off a witness and misleading federal investigators.

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Guest Bio:

Paula Jossart

Paula Jossart is an experienced personal injury attorney and railroad injury attorney recognized for her record of success in actions against railroads and insurance companies. She has achieved multiple seven and eight-figure verdicts in her career including a recent $21 million judgment against the BNSF. In 2015, she achieved three million-dollar-plus verdicts for victims with personal injury claims in Hennepin County (Minneapolis, MN). She also attained one of Minnesota’s larger personal injury verdicts ─ totaling more than $12.5 million ─ for a man burned by steam from a boiler on which he was working.

A fearless advocate for her clients, Paula Jossart has represented persons in personal injury and FELA (Federal Employees’ Litigation Act) cases in Minnesota and states across the country, including Arizona, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin. She served as lead counsel for injured victims in the nation’s largest anhydrous ammonia spill and has worked on many other large chemical exposure cases.

Choosing the right personal injury attorney your important life matter can make a significant difference in the outcome. Paula Jossart encourages potential clients to do their own research before hiring an attorney. Ask about the attorney’s actual courtroom and trial experience. Ask about the results that are being advertised on their website. Who achieved the results? What did the result actually mean for the client? Does the attorney put clients first? Or, does the attorney have a record of urging most clients to settle out of court?

Paula Jossart is a union designated attorney, a tenacious fighter, and a caring and compassionate client advocate. Respected by her peers, she was honored as a Minnesota Attorney of the Year, Outstanding Trial Lawyer by the Minnesota Association of Justice, a Rising Star by Minnesota Law & Politics numerous times, and named one of the Top Young Lawyers. She is a member of the Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys and the Minnesota Association of Justice.

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Free Resources:

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2