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United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
February 12, 2020, Argued; June 17, 2020, Decided
[*909] BAUER, Circuit Judge. Bradley LeDure, a conductor for Union Pacific Railroad Company, slipped and fell while preparing a locomotive for departure. LeDure brought suit for negligence against Union Pacific under the Locomotive Inspection Act and the Federal Employers' Liability Act. The district court granted summary judgment for Union Pacific. It found the Locomotive Inspection Act inapplicable and then determined that LeDure's injuries were otherwise unforeseeable because he slipped on a small "slick spot" unknown to Union Pacific. For the following reasons, we affirm.
On August 12, 2016, at [**2] about 2:10 a.m., LeDure reported to work at a rail yard in Salem, Illinois. His job was to assemble a train for a trip to Dexter, Missouri. The first step was to determine how many locomotives were necessary and tag each one to indicate whether or not they would operate.
Three locomotives were coupled together on a sidetrack. The locomotives arrived at 2:00 a.m. from Chicago, Illinois. LeDure decided that only one locomotive would be powered on. LeDure tagged the first locomotive for operation and the second for non-operation. He moved to the final locomotive, UP5683, to shut it down and tag it accordingly.
While on the exterior walkway of UP5683, LeDure slipped and fell down its steps. LeDure got up and proceeded to power down and tag the locomotive. He returned to where he fell and, using a flashlight, bent down to identify a "slick" substance. LeDure reported the incident to his supervisor. He gave a written statement before going home. Union Pacific conducted an inspection and reported cleaning a "small amount of oil" on the walkway.
LeDure sued Union Pacific for negligence. He alleged violations of the Locomotive Inspection Act and the Federal Employers' Liability Act, arguing that [**3] Union Pacific failed to maintain the walkway free of hazards. Both parties moved for summary judgment. The district court agreed with Union Pacific and dismissed LeDure's claims with prejudice. The court found the Locomotive Inspection Act inapplicable since UP5683 was not "in use" [*910] during the incident. It also held LeDure's injuries were not reasonably foreseeable because they resulted from a small "slick spot" unknown to Union Pacific. LeDure moved to alter or amend the judgment, and the court denied the motion. LeDure timely appealed.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
962 F.3d 907 *; 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 18990 **; 2020 WL 3263897
BRADLEY LEDURE, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY, Defendant-Appellee.
Subsequent History: Rehearing denied by, Rehearing denied by, En banc Ledure v. Union Pac. R.R. Co., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 22215 (7th Cir. Ill., July 16, 2020)
Later proceeding at LeDure v. Union Pac. R.R., 141 S. Ct. 2621, 209 L. Ed. 2d 747, 2021 U.S. LEXIS 2469, 2021 WL 1951790 (U.S., May 17, 2021)
US Supreme Court certiorari granted by, in part LeDure v. Union Pac. R.R., 142 S. Ct. 735, 211 L. Ed. 2d 421, 2021 U.S. LEXIS 6282, 2021 WL 5911482 (U.S., Dec. 15, 2021)
Affirmed by, By an equally divided Court at Ledure v. Union Pac. R.R. Co., 2022 U.S. LEXIS 2229 (U.S., Apr. 28, 2022)
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. No. 3:17-cv-00737-JPG-GCS — J. Phil Gilbert, Judge.
LeDure v. Union Pac. R.R. Co., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15688, 2019 WL 399924 (S.D. Ill., Jan. 31, 2019)
locomotive, district court, walkway, spot, summary judgment, slick, foreseeable
Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Summary Judgment Review, Standards of Review, Judgments, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Business & Corporate Compliance, Transportation Law, Rail Transportation, Locomotive Inspection Act, Torts, Proof, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Violations of Law, Rules & Regulations, Theories of Liability, Federal Employers' Liability Act, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Allocation, Elements, Duty, Foreseeability of Harm