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The Source for Railroad Injuries & Whistleblower Protection

Category Archives: Federal Employers Liability Act

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When Rail Workers Can Recover For Outrageous Conduct

Posted in Federal Employers Liability Act, Federal Rail Safety Act
 A leading U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has clarified when rail workers can recover damages for outrageous conduct by their employer railroad. Building on two cases that I handled (Metro North Railroad v. Buckley in the U.S. Supreme Court and Higgins v. Metro North Railroad in the Second Circuit), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals… Continue Reading

Another Nail in the FRSA “Election of Remedies” Coffin

Posted in Federal Employers Liability Act, Federal Rail Safety Act
While we await the Administrative Review Board’s official burial notice for the railroads’ bogus "election of remedies" argument, here is another nail in the coffin of that dead Federal Rail Safety Act defense: Thompson v. Norfolk Southern Railway Corp., where yet another Administrative Law Judge explains why "the FRSA does not prevent an individual who… Continue Reading

Norfolk Southern Railway’s Gold Medal Turns to Tin

Posted in Federal Employers Liability Act, Federal Rail Safety Act
  As Yogi Berra would say, "It’s starting to get late early out there" for the Norfolk Southern Railway. OSHA has blown the whistle on NS’s campaign of retaliation against injured workers, and the Federal Rail Safety Act awards and punitive damages just keep piling up. In the latest, Nelson v. Norfolk Southern Railway, OSHA’s… Continue Reading

Metro North Hit With Highest FRSA Punitive Damages Yet

Posted in Federal Employers Liability Act, Federal Rail Safety Act, Railroad Injuries
Once again, OSHA has slammed Metro North Railroad with punitive damages for disregarding the Federal Rail Safety Act rights of its employees. This time it is for using prior injuries to deny promotions, and the resulting punitive damage award is $125,000. Like many railroads, Metro North has a policy and practice of considering an employee’s history… Continue Reading

More FRSA Punitive Damages For Vague Safety Rules

Posted in Federal Employers Liability Act, Federal Rail Safety Act
Another railroad has been hit with Federal Rail Safety Act punitive damages for disciplining injured employees based on vague safety rules. This time it’s the Burlington Northern Railroad, who charged a conductor with being "careless of the safety of yourself and others" after he reported an injury. At the disciplinary trial, the charging officer "testified… Continue Reading

Another Judge Rules FRSA Not Derailed By CBA Appeals

Posted in Federal Employers Liability Act, Federal Rail Safety Act
Here’s the latest judicial decision rejecting the bogus "election of remedies" defense railroads continue to raise in Federal Rail Safety Act cases. This one is especially sweet in that it allows a worker to continue her frontal attack against Norfolk Southern Railway’s notorious practice of firing employees who report on duty injuries. The facts are… Continue Reading

How To Disqualify Unsafe Rail Managers

Posted in Federal Employers Liability Act, Federal Rail Safety Act, Railroad Safety
Are you fed up with rail managers who habitually ignore safety rules and regulations, and then blame the workers who get hurt as a result of management’s unsafe practices? Now you can do something about it. Here’s how to disqualify such managers from ever working in the railroad industry again. There is a little known… Continue Reading

Norfolk Southern Hit With FRSA Damages

Posted in Federal Employers Liability Act, Federal Rail Safety Act
  OSHA has blown the whistle on Norfolk Southern Railway Company’s practice of disciplining injured workers based on bogus "falsification" charges. From now on, Norfolk Southern’s "falsification" strategy will cost it dearly. In order to discourage the reporting of injuries, Norfolk Southern routinely charges injured employees with "falsifying" the injury. That is what happened to… Continue Reading

BNSF Railway Hit With FRSA Punitive Damages

Posted in Federal Employers Liability Act, Federal Rail Safety Act, Railroad Injuries
Here is a classic example of how the Federal Rail Safety Act is correcting rail management’s reflexive "blame the injured worker" mentality. The Railroad failed to provide the proper tool to do the task in question. So the worker used whatever was at hand to complete the task, just as many other workers had done… Continue Reading

Blueprint For FRSA Punitive Damages

Posted in Federal Employers Liability Act, Federal Rail Safety Act
Case law is beginning to clarify punitive damages under the Federal Rail Safety Act. Such damages are based on a railroad’s callous indifference toward the FRSA rights of its employees. Here is some conduct justifying the imposition of FRSA punitive damages: discouraging employees from filing injury reports or raising safety concerns targeting for closer scrutiny employees… Continue Reading

How The FRSA Overrides Valid Reasons For Discipline

Posted in Federal Employers Liability Act, Federal Rail Safety Act, Railroad Injuries, Railroad Safety
Strange as it sounds, a railroad manager can have a valid reason for taking disciplinary action against an employee and still be in violation of the FRSA. How? Because the employee’s protected activity in reporting an injury,raising a safety concern, or following a treating doctor’s orders was a "contributing factor" to the action. The FRSA requires that an… Continue Reading

Warning: FRSA Confidentiality Clauses Unethical

Posted in Federal Employers Liability Act, Federal Rail Safety Act
OSHA’s Whistleblower Office will never approve a Federal Rail Safety Act settlement that includes confidentiality. Why? Because the FRSA is supposed to remedy the chilling effects of retaliatory actions, not lock them in. And in the railroad grapevine, no retaliatory action goes unnoticed. When employees see a co-worker hammered after raising safety, injury, or fraud… Continue Reading

Another Judge Rejects Rail Management’s Bogus FRSA Defense

Posted in Federal Employers Liability Act, Federal Rail Safety Act
Railroads are losing their campaign to gut the Federal Rail Safety Act by claiming that the Railway Labor Act precludes rail workers from invoking FRSA protection. In a resounding well-reasoned decision, Administrative Law Judge Richard A. Morgan explains that Congress enacted the FRSA "to allow employees to attempt to vindicate their rights using multiple means"… Continue Reading

$1.1 Million FELA Settlement Vindicates Burned Metro North Worker

Posted in Federal Employers Liability Act
Teddy Roosevelt would be proud. 102 years after he signed the original rail safety statute into law, the Federal Employers Liability Act is still doing its job: exposing the unsafe practices of railroads and holding railroads accountable for the employee injuries that result. The sad truth is, rail managers habitually ignore their own responsibility for… Continue Reading