Bremseth Law Firm Investigation Team

Ric Hanson
Senior Investigator, Western Division

Ric Hanson is a third generation railroader. He hired out on the section crew in Laurel, Montana, right out of high school in 1972. In 1977, at the age of 23, he was promoted to the job of Steel Gang Foreman, supervising a crew of 100 men. That particular crew set production records that stand yet today. Ric was injured on the railroad in 1985 and was unable to resume work in that heavy labor industry. He retained Fred Bremseth to protect him from the railroad's claims department. During his recuperation, Ric obtained his Montana State Private Investigator's License and, upon successful resolution of his FELA claim, he went to work for the Bremseth firm. Ric has been with the Bremseth Law Firm for 27 years. He has investigated hundreds of railroad accidents and injuries and excels at interviewing witnesses and coworkers. Ric is routinely called upon to interview prospective clients, photograph and videotape accident scenes, review internal documents produced by the railroads, pinpointing the root causes of accidents and identifying areas where the railroad failed to provide a safe workplace. Ric also coordinates the investigations of his fellow investigators in the Western States, John Hiatt, Chris Chocas, and Dan Bircher, as well as with throughout the country Division.

When he is not working on Mr. Bremseth's cases, Ric enjoys spending time cruising in the "409" powered '55 Chevy which he and his wife, Carol (his high school sweetheart), built together.

Ric can be reached at 406-321-0071.


John Hiatt
Investigator, Western Division

John Hiatt is a former BNSF Engineer who has been with the Bremseth Law Firm 25 years, having gone to work with Fred in 1988. During his railroad career, John was very active on Safety Committees and spent many hours educating area students about the dangers that exist around railroad tracks and yards. John has also testified before federal agencies regarding safety issues that affect not only railroad industry workers, but also the public. His thirty-five years of experience in the industry make him a valuable asset to the Bremseth Team. John and his wife, Cindy, have four grandchildren with whom they spend as much time as possible. John regularly meets with clients all over the Western United States. He has also been active in the past with the "Big Brother" program and the American Diabetes Association, and he believes every day should be Veterans Day. He truly believes that the railroad workplace, while still inherently dangerous, has been made safer through the actions of our firm over the years. John prides himself on being a strong advocate for fair treatment of those Brothers or Sisters who have been injured or wronged through improper or unsafe conditions created by the railroad. He conducted a thorough and successful investigation in Anderson v. AMTRAK which was the first Whistle Blower (FRSA) in the nation that went all the way to an Administrative Law Judge and that case set the precedent for all future cases. John has conducted investigations into all types of railroad accidents, including wrongful death and whole body vibration injuries, throughout the United States.

John and his wife Cindy are located in Puyallup, Washington. John is available 24/7 to help all railroad employees and their families in any way he can. He can be reached at 509-994-8812.


Chris Chocas
Investigator, Western Division

Chris Chocas is a third generation railroader. He hired on with the Union Pacific Railroad right out of high school in 1977. Chris worked on the Signal Department for a year and then transferred to Train Service. He worked as a Switchman, Brakeman and Conductor until 2000 when he was injured. Following his injury, Chris contacted several FELA law firms about his potential case only to be rejected by them due to the difficulties involved in his claim. Chris heard of the Bremseth Law Firm from a good friend, and Fred Bremseth agreed to represent Chris with his claim. Through dedicated efforts, the Bremseth Law Firm obtained a very successful resolution of his case. Due to his long years of experience with the UP, his first-hand knowledge of working as a Conductor, and his membership in the UTU, Chris is a valuable resource for the Bremseth Law Firm.

Chris enjoys biking, fishing, sporting events and long walks with his wife Petie. He lives in Wellington, Colorado and can be reached at 307-421-9091.

Dan Bircher
Investigator, Western Division

Dan Bircher began his railroad career in 1974 at Boone, Iowa with the Chicago and North Western Railway. Dan worked on the Track Department as a Laborer and Machine Operator, then transferred to the Operating Department in 1976, working as a Brakeman/Switchman. He hired on with the BN in 1977, was promoted to Conductor in 1978 and, in 1989, he entered the Engineer program.

Dan made his last trip in 2006 as he suffered from cumulative trauma/whole body vibration injuries caused by his years of running on rough riding locomotives over many miles of rough track. Fred Bremseth litigated his case to a successful resolution.

Dan is a former Local Chairman and Safety Representative for BLE-T Division 624. He resides in the Sheridan, Wyoming area with his wife Melody and their two sons, Ryan and Levi. They enjoy hiking and camping in the Big Horn Mountains.

Dan can be reached at (307) 751-3714.

Dennis Beck
Investigator

Dennis has been helping railroad workers throughout the country for over 40 years. Dennis has held positions of both Local Chairman and Vice General Chairman during his career as a Signal Maintainer with the Union Pacific out of Iowa. During this time, he successfully negotiated contracts and secured benefits for his fellow union members. Unfortunately, Dennis' career was cut short by an on-the-job injury in 2003. Dennis states: "After I left the railroad I wanted to give back. I want to use my experience to stand up for what is right, get the word out, and help people." He now uses the skills he developed as a Union Chairman to investigate injuries and protect the rights of railroad workers injured on the job. Dennis' extensive knowledge in the railroad signal system and maintenance of way field is a great addition to the firm. He resides In Le Grand, Iowa, with his wife, Deb. They have three children and five grandchildren. Dennis loves hunting, fishing, woodworking, and spending time with his railroad brothers.

Dennis can be reached at (641) 479-2388 or (641) 740-0536.

Bobby Trujillo
Investigator, Western Division

Bobby is a third generation railroader. He hired out with the Union Pacific At North Platte, Nebraska in 1998 as a switchman. He was promoted to a conductor that same year. He took his engineer training and was promoted to Locomotive Engineer in 1999.

Bobby was injured at U.P. on June 13, 2015 due to a defective locomotive handbrake. Unable to continue his railroad career, Bobby hired the Bremseth law firm to protect him from the railroad claims department. Upon a successful outcome of his FELA case, Bobby decided that he wanted to help other injured railroaders so he chose to go to work for the Bremseth Law Firm.

Bobby brings 19 years of railroading experience to the firm.

When not helping other railroaders, Bobby enjoys spending time with his wife Melanie and his 6 children and two grandchildren. Bobby can be reached at 308-660-5262.