COFFEY KAYE MYERS & OLLEY HAS A PROVEN TRACK RECORD
OF SUCCESSFULLY HANDLING COMPLICATED APPEALS

THE FIRM SUCCESSFULLY DEFEATED SEPTA’S ATTEMPT TO HAVE ITS
RAIL EMPLOYEES COVERED BY WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSTEAD OF THE FELA


 

The firm has more than thirty years of experience handling FELA and other civil appeals. According to the United States Supreme Court, the Court only hears approximately 75 to 80 cases a year. That means out of the 1.2 million attorneys in the United States, no more than 160 argue before the high court in a year. Mr. Katz is among that elite group of attorneys to have argued before the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Katz also belongs to that very small group of lawyers who have argued before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and have obtained a unanimous decision in favor of his client.

While many law firms will tell you that they will fight on your behalf “all the way to the Supreme Court,” our firm we actually does so, and does it successfully.

The following are a few of our more significant appellate victories:

Goldman, Wiza, Maguire and Davis v. SEPTA, 57 A.3d 1154; 2012 Pa. LEXIS 2923 (Pa. 2012)
SEPTA argued that its railroad employees were not protected by the FELA, but that they should only receive the same limited benefits under workers compensation as the bus drivers received. After six years of appeals, Mr. Katz argued the issues before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court which unanimously rejected SEPTA’s argument. The Court held SEPTA is not an “arm of the state,” and therefore, is not entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity from the application of federal law

 

Hess v. Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp., 513 U.S. 30 (1994)
PATH sought to avoid being sued in the court chosen by the plaintiff and his lawyers. After Mr. Katz briefed and argued the issue, the United States Supreme Court rejected the railroad’s position and held that interstate compact entities are unique constitutional creatures, unlike a state, and are presumed not to have Eleventh Amendment immunity.

 

Fitchik v. NJT, 873 F.2d 655 (3d Cir. 1989)(en banc)
Like PATH, New Jersey Transit also attempted to limit the employees’ rights to choose the court where their case would be tried. NJT tried to force its employees into a local court more sympathetic to it than to the employees. Mr. Katz successfully persuaded the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (the court immediately beneath the U.S. Supreme Court) that NJT’s argument was incorrect. The Court held that NJT is not entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity and can be sued in a federal court.

 

Richards v. Consolidated Rail Corp., 330 F.3d 428 (6th Cir. 2003)
In this case, the trial judge dismissed some of the employee’s most important claims. Mr. Katz persuaded the Court to reverse a decision that had been the law since 1931 and to reinstate the employee’s claim. The decision was cited with approval by the United States Supreme Court in CSX Transp., Inc. v. McBride, 131 S. Ct. 2630, 2636 (U.S. 2011).