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Balsley v. BNSF Railway Co.

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  • Balsley v. BNSF Railway Co.

    Date Decided: Nov 22nd, 2010
    Decided By: Washington Western District Court (Federal)
    Court: W.D.Wash.
    Citation: 2010 WL 4857284 (W.D.Wash.)

    Background:
    Plaintiff, a railroad employee brought this claim againsthis employer, BNSF Railway ("BNSF"), pursuant to the Federal Employers'Liability Act ("FELA"), 45 U.S.C. 51 etseq. Plaintiff alleged that hesuffered injuries when climbing down a ladder, while disembarking a train, forthe purpose of rendezvousing with his employer's van for a scheduled change ofcrew. Plaintiff sustained injurieswhen he slipped on a piece of ballast as he climbed off the ladder onto the ground. Plaintiff alleged BNSF was negligentand liable for his injuries. BNSFfiled a motion for summary judgment, alleging (1) that Plaintiff failed toprovide evidence that BNSF was negligent, and (2) that Plaintiff's FELA claimsare barred by the Federal Railroad Safety Act ("FRSA) and the InterstateCommerce Commission Act ("ICCTA"). Plaintiff also filed a motion for summary judgment, alleging that BNSFwas precluded from raising a contributory negligence defense because "therecord is devoid of any evidence that the Plaintiff actually acted in anegligent manner."


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