Patrick S. O

Patrick S. O'Brien

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2013


Patrick O’Brien has been a trial lawyer representing the rights of injured railroad workers for more than thirty (30) years.

He has dedicated his professional career to helping those who have been injured through the negligence of others.  Patrick has tried cases to verdict in 15 states and has represented railroad workers from all crafts. Patrick has developed a specialty in handling occupational injury and toxic exposure illness claims under the FELA and has achieved numerous substantial verdicts against various railroads.  Patrick is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), the Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys (ARLA), the American Association for Justice (AAJ) and is licensed to practice law in Missouri, Illinois, and Minnesota, and in various federal district courts and courts of appeal as listed below.​


States and Courts in which Pat O’Brien is Licensed to Practice Law

  • Missouri, 1979
  • Illinois, 1980
  • Minnesota, 1986
  • U.S. Courts of Appeal 7th Circuit, 1985
  • U.S. Courts of Appeal 8th Circuit, 1988
  • U.S. Courts of Appeal 3rd Circuit, 1998
  • U.S. Courts of Appeal 6th Circuit, 2009
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Missouri, 1979
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Missouri, 1980
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 1989
  • U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois, 2006
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Oklahoma, 2009
  • U.S. District Court District of Colorado, 2011
  • U.S. District Court District of Nebraska, 2012

University of Missouri–ColumbiaBA 1976St. Louis University School of LawJ.D. 1979
American Bar AssociationAmerican Association for JusticeAcademy of Rail Labor AttorneysAmerican Board of Trial Advocates, Eastern MO/Southern IL ChapterMissouri Association of Trial AttorneysGreenbriar Hills Country ClubPhi Kappa Psi - MO Alpha fraternity

Case History

Hand v Norfolk Southern Railway Company — This case involved a 58 year old carman who died of primary brain cancer and was brought under the Federal Employees Liability Act. At trial, I was able to prove that Mr. Hand was exposed to several chemical agents that caused his brain cancer. This was the first verdict in the United States under the FELA for a brain cancer case. The verdict for $3.25 million was upheld on appeal and was the highest verdict on a personal injury case at the time in Hamilton County, Tennessee.
Giddens v Kansas City Southern Railroad — This was a case of a maintenance of way foreman who sustained a severe crush injury of his right hand while performing track repair. Due to decisions made by the trial judge, this case was tried three times with plaintiff receiving more money at each trial. This case is important from an appellate standpoint in setting standards on the timeliness of notifying plaintiff that defendants had conducted surveillance of plaintiff's activities. Plaintiff was awarded $1.52 million at the third trial.
Schafer v Auto-Owners Insurance Company (Indiana) (January 2014)

This case involved a self-employed contractor who was injured in a collision with an underinsured motorist.  The insurance company which represented the other driver tendered their $50,000 policy limits to resolve the case. Mr. Schafer had a $500,000 underinsured policy with Auto Owners to provide coverage for this kind of occurrence.  Mr. Schafer had over $182,000 of unpaid medical bills, economic loss and considerable pain and suffering. His spouse suffered a loss of consortium.  At mediation, Auto Owners offered less than the medical bills total, alleging that they were not all connected to the incident.  At trial in a very conservative venue, Pat obtained the policy limit of $450,000 for the Schafers.

Baird v Louisville and Indiana Railroad — Mr. Baird, a switchman, had one leg amputated below the knee and a major crushing of the other leg when he was run over by three cars during a switching operation. The railroad contended that he called his workplace three days after his injury and admitted fault. At trial, I was able to prove that the railroad could have easily avoided this tragedy. The jury awarded plaintiff $9.33 million.

Office Location

326 South 21st Street, Suite 306
St. Louis, MO 63103
United States

Practice Areas

Railroad Law

Other Information

Gender: Male