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Hendrix v. Port Terminal R.R. Assoc – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Hendrix v. Port Terminal R.R. Assoc., 196 S.W.3d 188, 192 (Tex. App. 2006), the Court of Appeals of Texas held that a railroad employee's FELA claim was not precluded by 49 C.F.R. § 213.103.

Hendrix was allegedly injured by large ballast used "in the rail yard walkways." Id. at 190.

Hendrix maintained that his FELA claim was not precluded because "the federal regulations concerning ballast deal with the safety of the track, not the safety of employees working in and around the tracks." Id. at 193.

The railroad argued that cases from other jurisdictions support the proposition that FELA claims alleging negligent use of ballast in walkways are precluded. Id. at 198-99.

The railroad maintained that 49 C.F.R. § 213.103 specifically regulates ballast as a measure of track safety and that Hendrix's claim challenging the "nature and size of the ballast" was precluded regardless of the location of the ballast within the rail yard. Id. at 191.

The Court of Appeals of Texas concluded that 49 C.F.R. § 213.103 does not preclude "any and all" claims related to walkway conditions Id. at 201.