Robert E. Harrington, III
Bob is a highly successful trial lawyer who concentrates on representing individuals and families in personal injury and wrongful death cases. He regularly takes to task some of the largest corporations and insurance companies in the United States. Bob’s practice is multi-state and frequently takes him across the country to litigate and counsel on behalf of his clients. His recoveries for clients through settlement and jury verdict register in tens of millions. Notably and most recently, Bob was instrumental in the firm’s recovery of over $12,000,000.00 for an individual who suffered arm and shoulder amputation. Moreover, highlighting the firm’s commitment to always finish the job, he recently took to trial and obtained a $240,000.00 verdict for an injured conductor in Toledo, Ohio who missed nearly two years of work for a knee injury. The railroad offered the employee no money to settle prior to trial and suggested an award of $0 to the jury at trial as they contended they were not at fault for his injury. The jury found the railroad 100% at fault.
In recognition of his outstanding legal work, in addition to being previously recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers he was most recently in 2015 recognized as an “Emerging Lawyer” by Leading Lawyers publications — a designation given to less than 2% of attorneys under the age of 40.
Specifically related to his efforts on behalf of representation of railroad employees, Bob was most recently named one of the SMART Transportation Division’s “Designated Legal Counsel” or DLC. These designated attorneys are specifically recognized by SMART Transportation Division (former United Transportation Union) as having particular knowledge in litigating injury and employment related disputes against railroads.
The merger of the United Transportation Union and the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association into the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) became effective November 30, 2011. The SMART Transportation Division is the largest railroad union in the United States. Bob has been for many years a proud dues paying member of SMART-TD local 1548. He regularly attends union meetings through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky giving seminars regularly educating members on new developments in the law.
Bob is also a member of the Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys (ARLA), a professional organization of attorneys dedicated to promoting safety and safe working conditions for all railroad employees. ARLA attorneys are recommended by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) as uniquely qualified to represent injured BLET members under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA).
Bob’s practice includes representation of individuals in employment matters arising under whistleblower protection statutes, FMLA, ADA or other discrimination statutes. Bob is a particularly recognized leader in aggressively pursing and winning whistleblower cases on behalf of railroad employees arising under the new employee protections provisions afforded by the United States Congress in the Federal Rail Safety Act. To that end, his string of successes are multiple as evidenced by his most recent victory in briefing and arguing a case of first impression before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of a railroad employee illegally disciplined for filing a report of personal injury by his Class 1 railroad employer in Detroit, Michigan.
Bob is not only devoted to his work, but frequently participates in community service as well. His past community service activities include serving as a junior board member for Catholic Charities in Chicago and serving on the Young Lawyers Division Council of the Illinois State Bar Association where he assisted in raising over $50,000.00 for various children’s charities throughout Illinois. He has served as a mentor to law students at his alma mater, Loyola University Chicago School of Law. In his local community, he currently serves as an appointed commissioner in Park Ridge, Illinois on its O’Hare Airport Commission which is tasked with monitoring and assessing O’Hare airport noise and pollution in his hometown which is directly adjacent to the airport.
Bob is an active member of various civil justice organizations including the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association for Justice.
Bob resides in the suburbs of Chicago with his wife, who is also an attorney, and three children. On the weekends, he can generally be found at the local sports field coaching or watching his children participate in various sporting and other events.
Notable Recent Published cases:
- Szekeres v. CSX Transportation, Inc., 731 F.3d 592 (6th Cir. 2013) (briefed and argued appeal reinstating jury verdict reversed by trial court in favor of railroad employee injured while slipping in mud near Cleveland, Ohio).
- Coates v. Grand Trunk, 2013-FRS-00003 (Dec. 19, 2013) (full reinstatement, payment of wages and compensatory damages to employee fired in connection with the report of personal injury and prior complaint to OSHA).
- Williams v. Grand Trunk, 2013-FRS-00033 (Aug. 11, 2014)(payment of lost wages and compensatory damages to employee fired for absenteeism related to marking off sick pursuant to the order of his treating physician).
- Kruse v. Norfolk Southern Rwy. Co., 2011-FRS-00022 (Aug. 12, 2012)(payment of compensatory damages to employee suspended 30 days for speeding charge deemed pretextual to retaliation for prior report of personal injury).
- Norfolk Southern Rwy. Co. v. Perez, 778 F.3d 507 (6th Cir. 2015)(along with Department of Labor defended decision allowing railroad employees to concurrently prosecute collective bargaining act disputes and whistleblower discrimination claims. Issue of first impression in the Circuit).
- Trial Journal of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Vol. 13, No. 2, Summer 2011, “The New Federal Rule 26(a)(2)(C) and Disclosing Treating Physicians as ‘Experts.’”
State Bar Admissions:
- Illinois, 2002
- Indiana, 2004
- Ohio, pending
- Michigan, pending
Federal Bar Admissions:
- Federal Trial Bar, Northern District of Illinois
- 6th Circuit Court of Appeals
- 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
- 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
- Northern and Central Districts of Illinois
- Southern and Northern Districts of Indiana
- Western and Eastern Districts of Michigan
- Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio
- Eastern District of Kentucky