Rains v. BNSF Railway Co

Filing 920090603

Opinion

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IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS United States Court of Appeals FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT Fifth Circuit FILED June 3, 2009 No. 08-10917 Charles R. Fulbruge III Clerk KEVIN RAINS Plaintiff-Appellant v. BNSF RAILWAY COMPANY, doing business as The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad Company Defendant-Appellee Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas USDC No. 4:06-CV-858 Before JONES, Chief Judge, and HIGGINBOTHAM and HAYNES, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM:* Kevin Rains sued his employer, BNSF Railway Company ("BNSF"), under the Federal Employer's Liability Act ("FELA"), 45 U.S.C. 51, for injuries he suffered from falling while inspecting a train stopped on a bridge. The district court granted summary judgment for BNSF after finding no evidence that BNSF's negligence caused Rains's fall and injuries. Rains appeals. Pursuant to 5TH CIR . R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH CIR . R. 47.5.4. * No. 08-10917 We find that the district court erred in construing the complaint to include only allegations that BNSF's negligence caused Rains's fall. Rains adequately pled the theory that BNSF's negligence increased his injuries, and the district court should have considered this in analyzing BNSF's motion for summary judgment. Having reviewed the briefs, pertinent portions of the record, and oral argument, and mindful of the weakened proximate-cause standard applied in FELA cases, a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether BNSF's negligence played a part in producing Rains's injuries. We therefore reverse the grant of summary judgment and remand for trial. REVERSED AND REMANDED. 2

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