Supreme Court to hear employee slip and fall case that may impact future claims

Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 10:29 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The Supreme Court is set to hear a case that could impact the outcome of future employee slip-and-fall cases in rail yards. Next week, justices are scheduled to hear the case of LeDure vs. Union Pacific Railroad Company.

It centers around the claim of Bradley LeDure, a conductor who sued Union Pacific after he says he was injured on the job in Salem, Illinois in 2016. The ruling may determine the extent of responsibility an employer may have to bear in similar accidents.

“Mr. LeDure slipped on some oil on a locomotive during the inspection process,” said Lawrence Mann, ”when the crew was getting the train ready to be moved.”

Lawrence Mann is an attorney for railroad workers. He is listed as a lawyer on the case.

In his initial claim, LeDure accused Union Pacific of negligence under the Federal Employers Liability Act and also the Locomotive Inspection Act.

Both the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled in Union Pacific’s favor.

The courts findings centered on the grounds Union Pacific couldn’t have known about the slick spot, and because the train wasn’t in use at the time of LeDure’s fall.

Mann disagrees with this decision.

“The railroads are seeking to keep it very limited,” said Mann.

In his petition to the high court, LeDure is asking whether it should it make a difference on liability if the train was in use for Union Pacific.

In a statement, the Association of American Railroads Gray Washington News Bureau reporter Nicole Neuman, “the petitioner’s and Government’s position that locomotives are virtually always in use undercuts the Locomotive Act’s basic purpose. And, AAR’s position doesn’t in any way undermine safety.”

Justices will hear arguments from both sides on Monday.

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