Attorney Joseph Sayler is known for his passionate, tireless representation of seriously injured individuals and their families. Joe focuses his practice on holding railroads and other wrongdoers responsible for their conduct.
Clients from Minnesota, North Dakota, and many other states across the country have enlisted Joeâ€™s legal expertise and drive for highly specialized cases involving harm caused by railroads, unsafe products, and exposure to toxic products like asbestos and oil field hazardous fumes. Joe has represented numerous railroad workers, protected under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), who have been injured on the job, and has achieved several record recoveries.
Joe has litigated railroad cases across the country, ranging from Washington to Florida, in twenty-six different states, with a great deal of success. Joe has also been a part of the two largest sanctions awards in the country against railroads for their destruction of evidence and discovery abuses. This includes the recent $5.8 million award in Kowalewski v. BNSF. Joe has been named a â€œSuper Lawyerâ€ and â€œRising Starâ€ for personal injury and FELA litigation
Joe also teaches torts (including personal injury) to law students at William Mitchell College of Law. He has been asked to author several professional articles on important legal issues by law reviews and other prestigious publications. This includes several articles on sanctioning railroads for their litigation misconduct.
EDUCATION William Mitchell College of Law â€” St. Paul, Minnesota, J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence, cum laude University of North Dakota â€” Grand Forks, North Dakota, B.S., Criminal Justice, magna cum laude
BAR ADMISSIONS Minnesota North Dakota
ASSOCIATIONS AND LICENSES Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys Minnesota Association for Justice Inns of Court Minnesota State Bar Association American Association for Justice North Dakota Bar Association Represented clients in over 26 jurisdictions with special permission of courts
PUBLISHED ARTICLES AND PRESENTATIONS Ferry Street Revisited: Sanctions and Railroads 10 Years Later. Mischief Makers Beware: Minnesota Courtsâ€™ Broad Power To Sanction Misconduct In The Wake of Frazier v. BNSF. Hamline Law Review. Sanctioning Railroad Misconduct. Minnesota Trial Journal. Who Sanctioned This?!: The Inherent Power of Minnesotaâ€™s Courts to Sanction. The Legacy of the 9/11 Fund and the Minnesota I-35W Bridge-Collapse Fund: Creating a Template for Compensating Victims of Future Mass-Tort Catastrophes. William Mitchell Law Review.
REPRESENTATIVE CASES Kowalewski v. BNSF (Co-counsel for record FELA verdict in Minnesot Kowalewski, was exposed to toxic fumes in a railyard because BNSF provided defective equipment and that allowed tanker cars to couple at twice the allowed speed, causing them to vent. BNSF lied to him about what product he was exposed, destroyed evidence, fabricated documents, and engaged in other misconduct. The jury awarded more than $15.3 million for his injuries. The court then ordered the BNSF to pay an additional $5.8 million as a sanction for its misconduct. Deibert V. DMVW Railroad (Believed to be a record injury settlement against the DMVW. Accident occurred when DMVWâ€™s tracks washed out and the locomotive crashed into the hole created by the washout. Primary injury was PTSD). Shinkle v. BNSF Railway (Railroad worker in Spokane, WA, sustained a traumatic brain injury while working for BNSF. Railroad insisted on accusing Mr. Shinkle of faking this career ending injury. BNSF was caught destroying evidence and the court determined they were completely liable for the injury. BNSF faced sanctions after trial. Halfway through trial, a favorable settlement was reached). McBride v. CSX (Landmark FELA case at United States Supreme Court. Joe authored an Amicus Curiae brief that was expressly relied upon twice in majority opinion. The decision preserved important rights of injured railroad workers in FELA cases.)
APPELLATE WORK McBride v. CSX (Amicus Curiae brief cited twice in majority opinion at the United States Supreme Court) Weissman v. AIG (8th Circuit Court of Appeals)