Gori Julian & Associates, P.C.
Get Your FREE Case Review 24 Hours A Day
More than $3 Billion Recovered For Our Clients

Court: federal law preempts railroad asbestos claims

Late last month, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the federal Locomotive Inspection Act preempts any claims under state law made by former railroad workers who were exposed to asbestos during their employment.

As a result of the ruling, railroad workers who had been negligently exposed to asbestos-containing brakes and insulation at railroad maintenance facilities will not be able to name private companies that design and manufacture those products in asbestos lawsuits under state law.

Specifically, the court was unanimous in its finding that the 1911 Locomotive Inspection Act (LIA) preempts state law claims that the products were defectively designed. Three of the nine justices did not agree with the majority ruling regarding claims that the manufacturers failed to warn workers of the dangers of asbestos. The majority found that such failure-to-warn claims are also preempted by the LIA.

The court based its ruling on a 1926 interpretation of the LIA, in which the Supreme Court held that Congress' intent in enacting the act was to "occupy the entire field of regulating locomotive equipment." The court further reasoned that the 1926 court "did not distinguish between hazards arising from repair and maintenance as opposed to those arising from use on the line."

In a concurring opinion, Justice Elena Kagan implied that she did not necessarily agree with the decision, but stated that it was up to Congress to change the law if the law should be changed. "[The 1926 decision] governs so long as Congress lets it," she said.

We previously wrote about the Supreme Court challenge to the LIA, which you can read about in our earlier mesothelioma blog post.

Source: Bloomberg BNA, "Supreme Court Says Railroad Law Preempts Claims on Asbestos Exposure in Repair Work," Martina S. Barash, Mar. 1, 2012

1 Comment

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Why Choose Gori Julian?

  1. Experience

    With over 100 years of combined legal experience, we guide our clients through the litigation process by addressing questions and concerns and about the outcome every step of the way. Read More

  2. Results

    The team at Gori Julian fights hard for clients, working to get the compensation and the settlement they deserve, obtaining over $3 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Read More

  3. Team Approach

    We are more than just experienced attorneys: our team is also made up of highly trained paralegals and professionals specially trained to deal with the demands of these complex cases. Read More

  4. Faster Trial Dates

    We know that obtaining funds in a timely manner will help cover medical expenses. Gori Julian works quickly to recover funds and secure the earliest possible trial dates on our client's behalf. Read More

Watch Our Video

Watch More In Our Video Center >


Super Lawyers Million Dollar Advocates Forum American Association for Justice
ABA - Defending Liberty - Pursuing Justice Illinois State Bar Association

Fill Out Our Form Today To Get A Free Case Review.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Get a Free Case Review Today

Gori Julian News

Gori Julian & Associates, P.C. Donates $10,000 to Riverbend Head Start and Family Services

Read More >

In The Community

Gori Julian & Associates and Global Brew Raise More Than $20,000 at Recent Oktoberfest Event

More Community & Events >

Read Our White Paper

A Continuing Threat: How Deadly Legacy Of Asbestos Haunts Navy Veterans Today >

Edwardsville Office
Gori Julian & Associates, P.C.
156 North Main Street
Edwardsville, IL 62025
Edwardsville Law Office Map

Washington, DC Office
Gori Julian & Associates, P.C.
1875 Connecticut Ave. NW
10th Floor

Washington, DC 20009
Washington Law Office Map

New Orleans Office
Gori Julian & Associates, P.C.
909 Poydras Street, Suite 2195
New Orleans, LA 70112
New Orleans Law Office Map

Los Angeles Office
Gori Julian & Associates, P.C.
3848 Carson Street, Suite 103
Torrance, CA 90503
Torrance Law Office Map

St. Louis Office
Gori Julian & Associates, P.C.
1133 Pine Street
St. Louis, MO 63101
St. Louis Law Office Map

New York Office
Gori Julian & Associates, P.C.
360 Lexington Avenue
20th Floor
New York, NY 10017
New York Law Office Map

Orlando Office
Gori Julian & Associates, P.C.
37 N. Orange Ave., Suite 201
Orlando, FL 32801
Orlando Law Office Map

Alton Office
Gori Julian & Associates, P.C.
500 E 6th Street
Alton, IL 62002
Alton Law Office Map

Get Your FREE Case Review 24 Hours A Day 888-362-6890
Close X

Contact Us For A Free Case Assessment

Back To Top