Appeals court rules against injured railroad conductor

The Denver federal appeals court has ruled against a conductor who was injured on the job in Oklahoma while he worked for BNSF Railway company.

George Ezell filed suit after he was injured in 2014 while inspecting 20 ballast-loaded railcars. He was instructed to climb railcar ladders to determine which cars were more than half full of ballast. After inspecting about six cars, he slipped while climbing the ladder of a car and fell to the ground, breaking his right leg, right ankle and left foot.

He sued BNSF under the Federal Employers Liability Act for failing to provide a reasonably safe place to work. BNSF argued its railcar complied with the governing safety regulations and Ezell had offered no evidence of the company’s negligence. A lower federal court agreed and dismissed Ezell’s suit.

Ezell took the case to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals where the appeals court ruled, “The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals determined the evidence established that to do their jobs railroad conductors need to climb the ladders, and that this was a reasonably safe activity. For that reason, the Court agreed with the district court’s dismissal of this case.”

Source: Appeals Court