The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) was designed to put on the railroad industry some the costs of the legs, eyes, arms, and lives which it consumed in its operations. Not all these costs were imposed, for the Act did not make the employer an insurer. The liability which it imposed was the liability of negligence.
Wilkerson v. McCarthy 336 U.S. 53, 68 (1949) (Concurring opinion of Justice William Douglas).
As Justice Douglas understood over 60 years ago, railroad employees routinely perform dangerous jobs under all sorts of challenging conditions, and as a result, they sometimes suffer serious injuries. FELA requires the injured railroad worker prove the railroad company’s negligence. After proving negligence, the injured railroad worker is entitled to full compensation for the injuries.
David P. Legare is a former member of the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel. Before starting our firm, he defended a national railroad company from FELA and Federal Rail Safety Act (FRSA) claims. He now uses his experience and knowledge to protect injured railroad workers and fight for their full compensation. If you have suffered an injury caused by a railroad, please contact us at (406) 294-9450 or online.