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Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Sustain Summary Judgment on Appeal for Railroad

Robert Chemers and William Elinski, sustained the summary judgment they obtained in the trial court on appeal in a case involving whether the plaintiff was an employee for the purposes of the Federal Employers’ Liability Act.

The plaintiff, an employee of Mobile Rail Services, Inc. (MRS), was injured while servicing a Union Pacific Railroad Company (UP) locomotive. The plaintiff brought a lawsuit against UP alleging a claim under FELA and common law negligence. The Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the circuit court’s entry of summary judgment concluding that the evidence to support the plaintiff’s FELA claim was insufficient to raise a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the plaintiff was an employee of UP for purposes of FELA.

Based upon that finding, the Court held that UP did not owe the plaintiff a duty of ordinary care under Illinois common law because the plaintiff presented no evidence that his injury was reasonably foreseeable by UP.

July 2019