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Shapiro & Appleton

Railroad Accidents Occurring on Industrial Sidings or Off Railroad Property

What happens when railroad workers suffer an accident or injury when they are asked to do their jobs off property? The answer is simple: if the railroad has asked the worker to do their job anywhere else, and if the dangerous condition or cause of the injury could have been discovered by an appropriate inspection, then the railroad is liable and will normally be required to compensate the worker. In fact, there are several famous U.S. Supreme Court decisions which set forth the proposition that railroads have a duty to inspect all places where its workers will call or work. The Supreme Court ruled that question is not whether the railroad actually inspected but whether the railroad could have inspected places that its workers even fleetingly may call. In these famous cases the railroads tried to argue that a different industry or railroad was the only party that the worker should be able to sue. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected this railroad argument and set forth that railroads may not delegate away the duty to inspect and the responsibility to provide a reasonably safe place for its workers. 
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