Lawsuit for Work Related Injury on the Spur Track

In Jenkins v. Chicago & Eastern Illinois R.R. Co., 5 Ill. App. 3d 954, 963, 284 N.E.2d 392, 399 (1972), a Flintkote employee was injured while moving a boxcar on the spur track in the freight yard owned by his employer. There, the railroad delivered box cars to the spur track on Flintkote's freight yard. Flintkote workers then loaded and unloaded the box cars. As part of the loading process, Flintkote's workers had to move the boxcars to and from the loading docks. the workers moved the boxcars on the spur track with a "ear mover." Flintkote did not maintain or operate railroad equipment and had no facilities for doing so. It relied upon the railroad to maintain the cars in a safe condition. Its spur track was useless without the railroad's main line. In determining whether rail cars in use on the spur track of a private employer were "in use" on the defendant railroad's line, the court looked to federal decisions for guidance. Relying in particular on the reasoning in a factually similar case, Monongahela Ry. Co. v. Black, 235 F.2d 406 (4th Cir. 1956), the court found that the spur track was merely an extension of the railroad's operating line, promoting business for the railroad, and the court held that the equipment was in use on the defendant's line at the time the injury occurred. Jenkins, 5 Ill. App. 3d 954, 284 N.E.2d 392.