HILDEBRAND McLEOD & NELSON
Representing the Injured since 1926
Injured? Call 800-689-7066

SCOTUS Limits Where FELA Plaintiffs Can Sue

Earlier in the year, two separate plaintiffs sued BNSF Railroad Co. in Montana for injuries that took place outside of the state. Neither of the plaintiffs lived in Montana, and BNSF is based in Texas. The Montana Supreme Court had ruled that the lawsuit was allowable in the state regardless, citing both the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) and state law in Montana. But the U.S. Supreme Court disagreed, voting 8-1 to reverse the lower court's ruling.

What does this mean for injured workers?

Going forward, and not just for railroad workers but for those in all industries, plaintiffs will only be able to sue in a jurisdiction where the injury took place, regardless of how friendly or unfriendly that state's laws may be toward their situation. The other option available to injured workers is to sue in the jurisdiction where the company makes its home. In general, that can mean two things:

  • The state where the business incorporated
  • The state where most of the company's business takes place

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling is a move that limits railroad and other business's liability according to geography. This can work against those injured in the workplace, as businesses may choose to incorporate or operate primarily in states that have a history of favoring business interests over those of injured workers. The ruling also sets up a future where injured workers will have a harder time suing multinational corporations that are headquartered in other countries.

Pursuing justice

The ruling does not prevent workers from suing for injuries they believe were caused in part by employer negligence. But it does make it more difficult to do so. If you or a loved one is a railroad worker and has been injured on the job, make sure to reach out to learn your options for compensation.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Us To Schedule A Free Consultation

Call us toll free at 800-689-7066 or use the email contact form to tell us about the circumstances of your injury or wrongful death case. We offer a free consultation and handle all FELA, FRSA and personal injury litigation matters on a contingency-fee basis. No fees unless we help you recover financial damages in a settlement or trial verdict.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Email us for response

Our locations

350 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
4th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612

Toll Free: 800-689-7066
Fax: 510-465-7023
Map & Directions

700 North Brand Blvd.
Suite 860
Glendale, CA 91203

Toll Free: 800-689-7066
Fax: 323-669-8549
Map & Directions