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Date: 12-12-2022

Case Style:

Christopher D. Mahurin v. BNSF Railway Company

Case Number: 4:21-cv-00431

Judge: Terence Kern

Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma (Tulsa County)

Plaintiff's Attorney:

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Defendant's Attorney: Allison Lee, George R. Mullican, Micahel Paul Womack

Description: Tulsa, Oklahoma FELA (Employer's Liability Act) lawyer represented Plaintiff who sued Defendant on a Railway Labor Act (45 U.S.C. 151, violation theory.

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On or about the 18th day of October 2018 at approximately 10:00 p.m., Plaintiff Christopher D. Mahurin was performing his assigned work duties for Defendant BNSF Railway Company, in its Cherokee Yard in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Plaintiff and his crew were instructed to take two locomotives and retrieve a train consisting of heavy equipment located on Defendant’s old passenger main line, west of Defendant’s Crest Crossing. Plaintiff coupled the two locomotives to the locomotive of the heavy equipment train via remote control. Plaintiff then walked the train and released brakes on the cars. When Plaintiff reached the lead locomotive unit of the heavy equipment train, he climbed up onto the platform and released the brake. He then climbed down the ladder on the opposite side of the unit. It was dark and lighting was poor around the Crest Crossing area. Plaintiff had only his spotlight connected to his vest, making the steps only faintly visible. As Plaintiff reached what he perceived to be the bottom step, he could see that the ballast beneath the step was steeply sloped away from the stairs. As he attempted to step down, his foot became caught in the sill step which was recessed and hidden from view beneath the step Plaintiff was dismounting and he was caused to suffer injuries and damages as herein set forth.

At the time and place described above, Defendant BNSF Railway Company, by and through its agents, servants and employees, was negligent in failing to provide Plaintiff a safe place to work; in failing to provide Plaintiff with safe tools and equipment; in failing to adequately maintain its locomotives and railcars and their safety appliances in working order; in failing to provide its employees adequate training; in failing to adopt and comply with safe working practices; in failing to comply with its operating and safety rules; in failing to warn Plaintiff of the unsafe condition of its locomotive steps; in failing to conduct a proper job and safety briefing and in other acts of negligence in violation of the tenets of the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), 45 U.S.C. §51, et seq.

Outcome: Settled for an undisclosed sum and dismissed with prejudice.

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