Charles C. Goetsch

Top rated Employment Litigation attorney in New Haven, Connecticut

Charles Goetsch Law Offices
Charles C. Goetsch
Charles Goetsch Law Offices

Practice Areas: Employment Litigation, Transportation & Maritime, Government Contracts; view more

Licensed in Connecticut since: 1978

Education: Harvard Law School

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2011 - 2024
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Charles Goetsch Law Offices

405 Orange St.
New Haven, CT 06511 Visit website


The principal attorney at his own law firm based in New Haven, Connecticut, Charles C. Goetsch has tried over 55 federal civil cases and argued a landmark case before the United States Supreme Court. His track record and superb ethics in all of these matters have earned him the respect of his colleagues, as evidenced by his receipt of an AV Preeminent* peer review rating through Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. Goetsch devotes his practice exclusively to protecting injured railroad workers and individuals who blow the whistle on safety hazards and fraud.

Railroad workers are not covered by workers' compensation; instead, these actions are brought under the Federal Employers Liability Act. In these types of actions, negligence on the part of the railroad has to be demonstrated, and Mr. Goetsch has had extensive experience in trying these cases in front of juries. He has obtained multimillion-dollar settlements and jury awards on behalf of his injured clients.

Another part of Mr. Goetsch's practice involves the prosecution of claims under whistleblower protection statutes such as the Federal Railroad Safety Act. That statute covers railroad workers who are subjected  to retaliation after engaging in protected activities such as reporting an injury or a dangerous safety condition. Mr. Goetsch was the first attorney to successfully try a FRSA case before a jury, and in the published decision the federal district court judge took note of his effective performance during the trial.

An equally important part of his practice is representing individuals who blow the whistle on fraud against the federal government or States. Not only are such clients entitled to protection from adverse action, they also have a right to file a False Claims Act qui tam action that explains the fraud and potentially entitles them to million dollar bounties. Such claims must be filed under seal using special procedures, and it is imperative individuals call as soon as possible to discuss the feasiblity of such claims.

Mr. Goetsch is a 1973 graduate of Brown University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. After graduating with his Juris Doctor in 1976 from the University of Connecticut School of Law, he earned an LL.M graduate degree from Harvard Law School in 1977. He is admitted to practice in Connecticut, New York, and the District of Columbia, as well as numerous federal trial and appellate courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice areas

Employment Litigation: Plaintiff, Transportation/Maritime, Government Contracts, Health Care

Focus areas

Employment Discrimination, Railroad Accident, Retaliation, Transportation Law

First Admitted: 1978, Connecticut

Professional Webpage:

Firm News (Newsletters):
  • This blog posts updates on significant developments in whistleblower law, with an emphasis on the Federal Rail Safety Act., Train Law Blog, Whistleblowers, Railroads
Educational Background:
  • Harvard Law School, LL.M. 1977
  • Brown University, Bachelor of Arts, 1973, Honors: magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
  • University of Connecticut School of Law, Doctor of Jurisprudence, 1976, Honors: Editor, University of Connecticut Law Review
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Coordinator, Metro North Railroad Labor Coalition, 1983 - 2003
  • President, Thimble Islands Ferry District, 2011 - Present
  • Trustee and Vice President of Board of Trustees, Hopkins School, New Haven, Connecticut, 1994 -2004
  • Elected Member, Board Selectmen, Town of Woodbridge, CT, 1997 - 2001
  • American Bar Foundation Fellow in Legal History, 1978 - 1979
  • Visiting Scholar, Yale Law School, 1978 - 1979
  • Selected as a SuperLawyer in the field of Plaintiff Employment Law
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys, 1985 - Present
  • Taxpayers Against Fraud
  • Connecticut
  • New York
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court District of Connecticut
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of New York
  • Chairman, Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Group for the District of Connecticut, 1991 to 1994 (appointed by Chief Judge)
  • Connecticut Bar Association, Federal Practice Section, Chairman, 1990 - 1993
  • Connecticut Bar Association, Vice Chairman, 1987 - 1990
  • Connecticut Bar Association, Executive Committee Member, 1993 - Present
  • National Employment Lawyers Association, 2013
  • Connecticut Employment Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Faculty, "Second Circuit Practice & Procedures: Doing It Right," Connecticut Bar Association CLE Program, September 1998
  • Faculty, "Civil Federal Practice Seminar," Connecticut Bar Association Annual Meeting, June 1996
  • Member, The Second Circuit Committee on History and Commemorative Events, 1995-1997 (appointed by Chief Judge)
  • Chairman, Legal History Committee, Connecticut Bar Association, 1996 - 2006
  • Editor-at-Large, Connecticut Bar Journal, 1985 to 1995
  • (ed.), The Autobiography of Thomas L. Chadbourne (1985)
  • Essays on Simeon E. Baldwin (1981)
  • Parody As Free Speech - The Replacement of the Fair Use Doctrine By First Amendment Protection, 3 Western New England Law Review 39 (1980)
  • The Future of Legal Formalism, 24 American Journal of Legal History 221 (1980)
  • A History of the First One Hundred Years of the Connecticut Bar Association: 1875-1975, 49 Connecticut Bar Journal 201 (1975)
  • Dying Declarations: Connecticut Common Law and the New Federal Rules of Evidence, 50 Connecticut Bar Journal 201 (1975)
  • A History of the New Haven Federal Courthouse, 59 Connecticut Bar Journal 380 (1985)
  • Introduction to Symposium on the New Federalism 56 Connecticut Bar Journal 186, 1982
  • Remembering a Wondrous Wale, New York Times, Sunday Edition, May 18, 1986
  • Comment, Conservation Restrictions: A Survey, 8 Connecticut Law Review 383, 1976
  • The Immigrant and America: Assimilation of a German Family, 42 Annals of Iowa 15-27, 114-25, 1973
Other Outstanding Achievements:
  • In the case of Barati v. Metro North Railroad Co., 939 F.Supp.2d 153, 156 (D. Conn. 2013), U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton held: "Attorney Attorney Goetsch is undeniably a leading specialist in the law governing railroad employees' rights, and his longstanding and highly developed practice makes him more efficient, creative, and effective for his railroad employee clients than an attorney of similar trial experience in federal litigation but without the benefits of his specialization." , 2013
Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • $1.15 Settlement in Seaman's Protection Act Case:  , 2018
  • $700,000 Settlement in Historic FRSA:  , 2015
  • $4.3 Million Settlement: Ard v. Metro North Railroad, D.Conn. jury verdict of $4.3 million (reduced by 25% contributory negligence) for the wrongful death of a railroad worker run over by a train in a rail yard, 2007
  • $1.425 Million Verdict: Quintiliani v. National R.R, Passenger Corp., D. Conn. jury verdict of $1.425 million for a carpenter who jumped out of a manlift bucket to avoid being hit by a locomotive, 2006
  • $5.5 Million Settlement: Pieger v. Metro North Railroad, D.Conn. for death of a railroad worker crushed between a train car and a machine, 2004
  • $10.8 Million Verdict: Avery v. Massachusetts Electric Co., D.Conn. jury verdict of $10.8 million for wrongful death of a railroad flagman run over by a train, 2000
  • $7 Million Settlement: Renert v. Metro North Railroad, D. Conn. for railroad foreman who legs were amputated during movement of rail cars in a shop, 1999
  • US Supreme Court: Metro North Commuter R.R. v. Buckley, 521 U.S. 424 (1997), 79 F.3d 1337 (2d Cir. 1996). A ground breaking case designed to expand the boundaries of tort law that I filed in 1989 and personally handled all the way to oral argument before the United States Supreme Court in 1997., 1997
  • Araujo v. New Jersey Transit Rail, 708 F.3d 152 (3rd Cir. 2013), 2013
  • Barati v. Metro North Railroad Co., 939 F.Supp.2d 143 and 153 (D. Conn. 2013), 2013
  • Millea v. Metro-North Rail Road, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 16354 (2nd Circuit 2011), 2011
  • Higgins v. Metro North R.R., 318 F.3d 422 (2d Cir. 2003). This case probed the limits of the Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress under the FELA, an issue not yet ruled on by the United States Supreme Court, 2003
  • Schneider v. National R.R. Passenger Corp., 987 F.2d 132 (2d Cir. 1993), 854 F.2d 14 (2d Cir. 1988). This case clarified when rail workers are entitled to recover under the FELA, and resulted in a verdict of $1.8 million and the seizure of Amtrak's train when Amtrak balked at paying the verdict, 1993
  • Brady v. National R.R. Passenger Corp., 714 F.Supp. 601 (D.Conn. 1989), 1989
  • Farley v. Metro-North Commuter R.R., 865 F.2d 33 (C.A.2 (N.Y.) 1989), 1989
  • Nairn v. National R.R. Passenger Corp., 837 F.2d 565 (2d Cir. 1988), 97 ALR Fed 177. This jury verdict tested the limit of excessiveness under the FELA, 1988
  • DeChico v. Metro-North Commuter R.R., 758 F.2d 856 (C.A.2 (Conn.) 1985), 1985
Representative Clients:
  • IBEW FELA Designated Legal Counsel, 2018
White Papers:
  • This White Paper highlights and explains the special legal standards that apply to whistleblower retaliation protection statutes such as the Federal Rail Safety Act, the National Transit Systems Security Act, and the Seaman's Protection Act., FRSA Special Legal Standards, Whistleblowers, Railroads, Transit, Maritime, 2019
  • This is a constantly updated Library containinglinks to the most significant whistleblower retaliation cases, statutes, and related materials, organized by subject matter and with an emphasis on the Federal Rail Safety Act., Rail Whistleblower Library, Whistleblowers, Railroads, Transit, Maritime, 2019
Industry Groups:
  • False Claims Act Qui Tam
  • Railroad Injuries
  • Whistleblower Retaliation

Office location for Charles C. Goetsch

405 Orange St.
New Haven, CT 06511

Phone: 203-672-1370


14 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2011 - 2024

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