FELA motion finally set for hearing

Steve Gonzalez Oct. 30, 2008, 11:16am

Ten months after filing a motion to dismiss a Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) under the doctrine of forum non conveniens, BNSF Railway will finally get to argue their motion at a Nov. 7 hearing.

BNSF argues that the burden of jury duty should not be imposed on the citizens of Madison County because the plaintiff is from Texas.

The railroad argues that the plaintiff, Herman Moore, has lived in Amarillo, Texas, for his entire 33-year career.

Moore never worked in Madison County, the railroad does not own any tracks that run through the county and none of Moore's supervisors or co-workers live or work in Madison County, the motion states.

BNSF also argues that the majority of Moore's treating physicians are from Texas and that no witnesses with knowledge of any of the allegations reside in Madison County.

According to Moore, he has been diagnosed with injuries to his lower back. He claims that during his career with the railroad he was required to ride on and operate locomotive engines.

He claims BNSF failed to provide him a safe place to work, failed to provide safe conditions for work, failed to provide safe methods of work and failed to enact a comprehensive ergonomics program.

Moore further claims the railroad failed to warn or protect him from the danger of exposure to cumulative trauma, failed to provide an air rise seat, required him to work in defective seats and failed to provide adequate training.

He also claims BNSF failed to protect him from the risk of injury due to shock and vibration.

BNSF filed the FNC motion in December 2007, but several last minute continuances sidelined the motion until Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder reset the hearing earlier this month.

It will be more expensive and inconvenient for BNSF and the pre-occurrence, occurrence, or post-occurrence witnesses to be brought to Madison County rather than if this case were litigated in Amarillo, Texas, where Plaintiff works and lives," the motion states.

BNSF argues that Moore's reported injuries in the case occurred near Woodward, Okla., where Moore worked, which is 620 miles from Edwardsville.

"Because the relevant private and public interest factors weigh heavily in favor of litigating this case in Amarillo, Texas, where plaintiff works and lives and because the State of Illinois appears to have no connection to the subject matters of this lawsuit, BNSF's motion to dismiss pursuant to Forum Non Conveniens should be granted,' the motion states.

BNSF is represented by Bill Brasher and Zora Manjencich of St. Louis.

According to Moore, he suffered serious, painful and permanent injuries to his spine and the discs in his spine which causes pain and mental anguish, medical expenses, loss of wages and fringe benefits and loss of a normal life.

Moore is represented by Steven Groves of St. Louis.

The hearing is set for 9 a.m.

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Organizations in this Story

BNSF Railway
2650 Lou Menk Dr
Fort Worth, TX 76131-2830

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