Del. & Hudson Ry. Co. v. Knoedler Mfrs., Inc., C.A. No. 11-314 Erie (U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, August 1, 2013). Court-issued opinion available here.
FELA lawsuit for injuries railroad employees claimed to have been caused by faulty locomotive seats: Held – The federal standard of the Locomotive Inspection Act governs this controversy and state tort law is thereby preempted.
In reaching this decision the court considered and rejected application of the Minnesota Supreme Court decision in Engvall v. Soo Line Railroad, 632 N.W.2d 560 (Minn. 2001). That case concerned injury to locomotive engineer and his claims under FELA and the Locomotive Inspection Act. The Minnesota Supreme Court held that: “(1) Railroad had state law cause of action based on violation of [the Locomotive Inspection Act]; (2) railroad could seek contribution from locomotive manufacturer; [and] (3) [the Locomotive Inspection Act] did not preempt railroad’s state law causes of action for contribution”.
Delaware & Hudson Railway Co. v. Knoedler Manufacturers, Inc., Slip copy, 2013 WL 504814 (February 12, 2013). Free copy available here.
“[The Locomotive Inspection Act] supplements [the Federal Employers Liability Act] by imposing on interstate railroads an absolute and continuing duty to provide safe equipment” …. “[The Locomotive Inspection Act] does not confer a right of action on an injured plaintiff but rather allows a plaintiff to treat a proven [Locomotive Inspection Act] violation as negligence per se in an action under [the Federal Employers Liability Act].”
Payton v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., 2013 WL 428650 (Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, February 5, 2013). Free copy available here.