At Harrington, Thompson, Acker & Harrington, Ltd., we strive to keep our website visitors informed on a wide range of legal issues. Our blogs include a variety of topics for both railroad workers and the public in general. While we hope you find these posts informative, the blogs provided here should not be construed as legal advice. If you seek additional information on a specific legal subject or matter, please contact us at (800) 828-5828 to speak to an attorney who will apply the specifics of your situation to the law.
In Part One of this Railroad Liability series we discussed how the Federal Employer’s Liability Act, or FELA, is a negligence or “fault based statute”. Negligence or fault can be established against the railroad under FELA if the railroad failed to exercise ordinary care to protect the safety of its workers. In Part Two, we will review two additional statutes and regulations that complement FELA. [Read more…]
Most workers in the United States are covered by federal or state worker’s compensation laws. These laws provide certain protections to employees who are injured at work, but under most of those laws the employee is not required to show fault on the employer’s part that led to their injury. However, railroad employees are covered by a very different type of law called the Federal Employers Liability Act (“FELA”). A railroad worker seeking to recover under the FELA must prove the railroad was negligent or at fault, which can include a violation of a federal safety statute or a federal safety regulation. [Read more…]
This is a question that frequently comes up at neighborhood barbecues or other social gatherings amongst friends who have small children: do you carry enough personal liability insurance? When groups of children play, in the yard for example, inevitably one ends up hurt. It happens all the time. Fortunately most of the time, it is a minor injury related to a bump or a bruise and the child is back laughing and playing with friends in minutes. [Read more…]
Earlier this year, the Department of Labor affirmed an Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) 2014 decision obtained by our law firm extending protections under the employee protection provisions of the Federal Rail Safety Act (Whistleblower Act). This Act protects employees from retaliation for marking off work due to an off-duty injury or illness. This case was tried to an ALJ by HARRINGTON, THOMPSON attorney Robert B. Thompson and then subsequently briefed before the Department of Labor by Robert E. Harrington, III.
Following the decision, which favored our client, the railroad appealed the case to the federal circuit court for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, Ohio, one step below the United States Supreme Court. O ral arguments are scheduled for October 11, 2017. [Read more…]
SMART-Transportation Division held its Western Regional Meeting in San Antonio, Texas and Eastern Regional Meeting in New York City in the summer of 2017.
The law firm of Harrington, Thompson, Acker & Harrington, Ltd. was represented at the both meetings with attorneys and investigators who remained present throughout the duration of the week’s activities. [Read more…]
On February 24, 2017, SMART-Transportation Division General Counsel in Cleveland, Ohio along with SMART-TD Designated Legal Counsel Robert E. Harrington, III of Harrington, Thompson, Acker & Harrington, Ltd. filed a federal lawsuit in Illinois seeking injunctive relief against CSX Transportation, Inc.
CSXT Violates Bargaining Agreements By Proposing Replacement of Union Jobs with Untrained Workers [Read more…]
A new Illinois state law passed in August 2016 and which will go into effect on January 1, 2017 clarified conflicting state law on the right-of-way rights afforded to Illinois bicyclists sharing the road.
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 5912, which amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to state that every bicyclist on a “highway” (i.e., road or roadway), should be afforded all the rights of any other vehicle driver, “including, but not limited to” the one’s associated with right-of-way.
SMART-Transportation Division held its Eastern Regional Meeting in Chicago, Illinois from Saturday, July 23, 2016 through Wednesday, July 27, 2016.
The meeting was entirely sold out with all rooms at the Sheraton Hotel at full capacity. The event was a large success due to the tireless work of all the staff at SMART-TD from Cleveland, Ohio.
The railroad history of the US dates back to the 1820’s with the first transcontinental railroad completed in 1869. That’s nearly 200 years of rail transportation in the United States!
During that period of time, much has changed in the American landscape. For the passenger rail industry and U.S. Class I Railroads specifically, which are those railroads with operating revenues of $433.2 million or higher, there has been tremendous expansion, consolidation and improvements over the years. These railroad advancements have helped pave the way for efficient freight logistics, enhanced rail technology along with improved employment and rail worker safety efforts. [Read more…]
Many workers in the United States are covered by an employer insurance plan for work-related injuries known as workers’ compensation. Railroad workers, on the other hand, are covered by a separate set of protections known as FELA.
Both programs, FELA and workers’ compensation, however, were founded with the common goals of promoting a safe working environment and compensating workers following work-related illnesses and on-the-job injuries.
While some of the goals of the two programs are similar, there are many differences, including: [Read more…]