“An engineer who fell asleep at the controls of a Metro-North train and caused a derailment that killed four people in New York City sued the railroad… saying its negligence and carelessness led to the accident” [CBS News, Westchester County, N.Y. Journal News] Related: New York Post (he gets pension).
At the Supreme Court’s first oral argument of its new term, “the court’s most liberal justices joined in criticizing the idea the Austrian national railway could be liable simply for allowing its tickets to be sold in the U.S. Carol Sachs v. OBB Personenverkehr revolves around whether the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act protects the state-owned rail company from being sued in U.S. courts over injuries that occur overseas. Judging from the arguments, it can. Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor all expressed doubt that OBB could be liable simply because Sachs bought a Eurailpass through a Massachusetts online ticket agency.” The Ninth Circuit had allowed the case of Sachs v. OBB Personenverkehr to go forward over “strenuous dissents from several of its judges.” [Daniel Fisher, Forbes]
Attorneys for the state, which has a record of zealously guarding its “I [Heart] NY” promotional logo, have sent a threat to a model train company over a discontinued replica model of a real-life train that used the logo [Joe Patrice, Above the Law] [Corrected: state, not city]
“This January, the justices stopped [attorney James] Wylder’s argument dead in its tracks once again, concluding that the McLean County Circuit Court should have dismissed his three negligence suits against Illinois Central Railroad. Wylder had argued that Illinois Central was responsible for the alleged asbestos-related injuries of workers at an asbestos plant because the asbestos had arrived there by rail.” [Chamber’s Madison County Record, more; background on “asbestos conspiracy” line of Illinois cases, LNL]
Because Something Might Go Wrong, though there seems a shortage of evidence that much actually has been going wrong for youthful travelers on the railroad. If the new policy prevents youngsters from spending holidays or weekends with their loved ones, does that also count as Something Going Wrong? [Lenore Skenazy/WSJ, Hans Bader, CEI; related on airline policies]
The abuse of disability claims by employees of the Long Island Rail Road, exposed by the New York Times’s Walt Bogdanich three years ago and noted in several items here at the time, has at last eventuated in indictments of eleven defendants, including doctors and “facilitators.” According to prosecutors, the bogus benefit claims could have exceeded $1 billion if paid out to completion. “The Times articles reported that virtually every career employee of the railroad was applying for and receiving disability payments, giving the Long Island Rail Road a disability rate three to four times that of the average railroad.” [NYT, NRO “Corner”]
Springfield, Ohio: “The family of a man who was hit by a train while jumping off a trestle into a river two years ago is suing the railroad and a local canoe center.” The canoe company, according to the complaint, “knew or should have known that individuals frequently went onto the train trestle and jumped into the Mad River.” [Springfield News-Sun]