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Legal Memorandum: Violation of the Locomotive Inspection Act

Issue: Whether A Trial Court Erred in Granting Summary Judgment Where It Was Required to Impose Strict Liability For Respondent’s Violation of the Locomotive Inspection Act.

Area of Law: Aviation & Transportation Law, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Violation of the Locomotive Inspection Act; Summary judgment
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 317 U.S. 481; 763 F.2d 805; 102 F.3d 295; 297 U.S. 398
Cited Statutes: 49 U.S.C. § 20701
Date: 06/01/2007

The Locomotive Inspection Act (“LIA”) imposes on railroads an absolute duty to maintain the locomotive, and all “of its parts and appurtenances, in proper condition and safe to operate without unnecessary danger of personal injury.  49 U.S.C. § 20701 TA l "49 U.S.C. § 20701" s "49 U.S.C. § 20701" c 3 .  An employee injured as a result of a violation of the LIA may bring an action under the FELA based upon the LIA violation.  E.g., Lilly v. Grand Trunk W. R.R., 317 U.S. 481, 485, 63 S. Ct. 347, 87 L. Ed. 411 (1943) TA l "Lilly v. Grand Trunk W. R.R., 317 U.S. 481, 63 S. Ct. 347, 87 L.Ed. 411 (1943)" s "Lilly v. Grand Trunk W. R.R. (1943)" c 1 .

Unlike the FELA, the LIA does not require proof of negligence but instead imposes strict liability on railroads for violations causing injury or death:

Negligence is not the basis for liability under the Act.  Instead it ‘imposes upon the carrier an absolute and continuing duty to maintain the locomotive, and all parts and appurtenances thereof, in proper condition, and safe to operate . . . without unnecessary peril to life or limb.

Lilly, 317 U.S. at 485 TA s "Lilly v. Grand Trunk W. R.R. (1943)"  (quoting Southern Ry. v. Lundsford, 297 U.S. 398, 401, 56 S. Ct. 504, 80 L. Ed. 740 (1936) TA l "Southern Ry. v. Lundsford, 297 U.S. 398, 56 S. Ct. 504, 80 L.Ed. […]

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