Illinois Court Addresses Liability for Train Engineer’s Injuries

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Can a locomotive engineer recover for injuries sustained while on a cab car that was not connected to an assembled train? That’s one issue considered by the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, in Balough v. Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation, No. 1–09–3053 (2011).

In Balough, the plaintiff was an employee of the defendant. The testimony at trial established that he was a locomotive engineer at the time that he was injured. His job was to “to coordinate the dispersal of cars after the morning rush hour and to coordinate the assembly of trains for the evening rush hour.” He was injured while on a cab car, which he had boarded with the intent to move the car in order to position it for use during rush hour traffic later in the day. As he did so, a trapdoor fell open and struck his head, requiring him to be hospitalized. He received stitches to a cut on his head.

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