Justia Transportation Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
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Plaintiff filed suit against BNSF, alleging a retaliation claim under the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) and a negligence claim under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment on the FRSA claim, holding that the evidence did not raise a genuine dispute that retaliatory motive prompted by protected activity contributed to plaintiff's dismissal and thus plaintiff failed to make a prima facie case. The court also held that the RRTA was unambiguous and did not include damages for lost wages within the definition of "compensation." Therefore, the regulations providing to the contrary received no deference under Chevron and the court affirmed the district court's decision on this alternate basis. The court need not consider whether it was correct that 26 U.S.C. 104(a)(2) applied to the RRTA. Accordingly, the court affirmed the grant of summary judgment as to this issue. View "Loos v. BNSF Railway Co." on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit granted consolidated petitions for review of the Board's Final Rule, holding that the Board exceeded its authority by promulgating a rule defining "on-time performance" under the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-432, 122 Stat. 4907, after the Act's delegation to another agency was invalidated. In this case, the Final Rule expressly bases its authority on the need to fill the vacuum created by the invalidation of the on-time performance rule announced by the FRA and Amtrak under section 207 of the Act; the gap-filling rationale does not allow one agency to assume the authority expressly delegated to another; Congress likely did not give the FRA/Amtrak and the Board separate authority to develop two potentially conflicting on-time performance rules; and on-time performance in section 213(a) means on-time performance as developed by the FRA and Amtrak under section 207(a). View "Union Pacific Railroad Co. v. STB" on Justia Law