Some personal injuries affecting a certain group of people are covered by state or federal legislation, such as those injured in the course of their employment. If these injuries overlap with common law negligence, a Maryland personal injury attorney can assist you in pursuing the appropriate action in court. In an August 28, 2019 case, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland considered whether a personal injury action was properly brought under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA).
The plaintiff in the case was a former railroad employee who filed a lawsuit against his employer, a transportation company, along with several other defendants, seeking damages under FELA. The plaintiff alleged that he was exposed to asbestos during his employment with the transportation company, and that the asbestos exposure caused him to develop malignant mesothelioma. The defendants moved to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiff’s claim was barred because the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) provided his exclusive remedy for employment-related claims. After the lower court granted the motion and dismissed the claims, the plaintiff filed an appeal.
FELA provides a tort remedy for railroad employees who are injured in the course of their employment caused by the negligence of the employer. The law was enacted in 1906, at a time when few states had workers’ compensation laws, and although FELA has characteristics of both workers’ compensation law and common law tort of negligence, it is neither.