Conductor Can Sue for Injury Sustained in Parking Lot
The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled a retired Union Pacific conductor can seek compensation for a knee injury sustained while walking into work from the parking lot.
According to The Associated Press, the ruling reinstates the lawsuit the conductor filed when he stepped in a pothole in the employer's parking lot. A Douglas County judge previously issued a summary judgment in favor the employer, Union Pacific. The company's attorneys argued the railroad was not liable because the injured worker was commuting and had not yet reported for work when he hurt his knee.
However, the Supreme Court determined the man's injury took place during the course of his employment because it was just prior to his shift beginning and on a driveway employees regularly used to get from the parking lot to the railroad's depot. The fact the driveway is owned by the city of Marysville, not Union Pacific, is moot the court said.
As a result of the injury, the conductor tore some knee cartilage in the incident and required surgery. He missed work for some time but was able to return to work before retiring earlier this year.
The Federal Employees Liability Act, covering railroad workers in much the same way as state-administered worker's compensation laws, mandates employers provide a safe work place for workers. It also outlines the procedure for collecting damages after an injury. (workersxzcompxzkit) His lawyers contended according to the law even if the employer played only a slight part in the injury, it could be held liable.
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