Railroad Employees Say Union Pacific Violated FELA

March 1, 2018

Employees who say Union Pacific Railroad violated the provisions of the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) recently initiated two complaints against the company. 

  • On December 27, 2017, a Union Pacific Railroad Co. worker filed a complaint alleging that on January 1, 2017, he was injured when the traction motor on the locomotive and train he was working on exploded, causing him to sustain injuries to his back, legs, and other parts of his body. The complaint alleges that the company failed to conduct adequate inspections, properly service and maintain equipment, and neglected to warn employees about defective equipment.
  • On January 18, 2018, another Union Pacific employee filed a court complaint alleging that his employer violated FELA by decreasing workforce and increasing the employee’s workload, which led to his knee deterioration, pain, and his inability to work for the past year and a half. 

Under FELA, railroads in the U.S. are liable to any employee who is injured or killed due to the negligence of any of the officers, agents, or employees of the railroad in question.

 Railroad Company Duties Under FELA

 A railroad company has a duty to: Red Railroad car

  • Ensure that the workplace is reasonably safe and free of safety hazards.
  • Provide and maintain gear and tools, including suitable safety devices.
  • Alert employees about dangerous conditions and hazards, even in situations when the employee should be aware of the danger.
  • Conduct reasonable inspections of the workplace to ensure that it is free of known and unknown hazards.

FELA also requires that railroad companies equip their employees and make sure that they are able to perform their assigned tasks; take reasonable actions to keep employees safe from the intentional crimes and torts committed by other employees or third parties; prevent the use of excessive work quotas in terms of time or production; and provide employees with sufficient help when a task exceeds the worker’s abilities or limitations.

If you are a railroad employee and were injured at work, you could be eligible to make an injury claim under FELA. For more information, contact one of our railroad attorneys at Murray & Murray today at 419-624-3000.

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