Does Breach of the Safety Appliance Act Give Rise to a Civil Cause of Action ?
In Boyer v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co., 38 Ill. 2d 31, 230 N.E.2d 173 (1967), the court held, "It is apparent that a breach of the Safety Appliance Act does give rise to a civil cause of action which is separate from any cause of action based on negligence and that absolute liability for such breach is imposed on the violator." Boyer, 38 Ill. 2d at 35-36, 230 N.E.2d at 176.
To base a cause of action on a breach of the Safety Appliance Act, it must appear that the plaintiff was within the class of persons the statute was intended to protect and that the injury was the type of risk covered. See Boyer, 38 Ill. 2d at 37, 230 N.E.2d at 177.
In Keizor v. Sand Springs Ry. Co., 861 P.2d 326 (Okla. App. 1993) the Oklahoma Court of Appeals, citing the Crane decision, stated that since the Safety Appliance Act creates neither an express nor an implied cause of action for nonemployees, a nonemployee's action lies, if at all, in a common law action in negligence. Keizor, 861 P.2d at 330.