United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MICHAEL L. HOLLOWAY, Plaintiff,
UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO., Defendant.
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD, AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
is suing his employer, Defendant Union Pacific Railroad, for
alleged violations of the Federal Employers' Liability
Act, 45 U.S.C. § 51 et seq. Defendant has moved
for summary judgment, [Doc. No. 30]. Plaintiff opposes the
Motion. For the reasons set forth below, the motion will be
following facts are not disputed, unless otherwise noted.
Plaintiff claims to have suffered the injury at issue in this
case on December 17, 2012, while moving a generator from
Union Pacific's depot in Scott City, Missouri, to another
building. Plaintiff alleges in his complaint that Union
Pacific was negligent in that it (1) failed to provide a
reasonably safe place to work; (2) failed to provide
reasonably safe equipment; (3) failed to properly instruct,
educate, or train its employees; (4) failed to warn Plaintiff
of dangers that confronted him; (5) failed to provide proper
supervision and training; (6) failed to adopt or enforce safe
customs and practices; and (7) assigned plaintiff work that
began his career with Defendant in 1979. He joined the signal
department in 1988. In 2011, he became a Signal Forman.
his incident occurred, Plaintiff had been told to move
several generators out of the depot at Scott City because
they contained gasoline and should not be kept in an occupied
building. He was first told to move the generators in June or
July of 2012, which was about six months before his incident.
Plaintiff was again told in a meeting on December 13, 2012,
that the generators needed to be moved.
plaintiff started work on December 1 7, 2012, he did not
initially plan on moving any generators. Plaintiff arrived at
work at around 7:00 a.m., participated in a conference call
that lasted about ninety minutes, and then checked his email
and filled out an expense report and some other paperwork. It
was not until about 10:00 or 10:30 a.m. on December 17, 2012,
when he decided to move one of the generators. Plaintiff
decided to move the generator on December 17, 2012, because
he was worried about being disciplined and he wanted to be
able to say that he had at least started on the task of
moving the generators.
decided to move one of the two small generators that he
thought he could move by himself. To move the generator,
Plaintiff first got it out of the depot and loaded it onto
his pickup truck, using a pallet as a "makeshift
ramp" to help him get the generator into the bed of the
truck. After loading the generator in his truck, plaintiff
then drove his truck one hundred yards or so over to the
signal cabinet where he had decided to put the generator. He
then slid the generator out of the pickup and dropped it on
the ground. After dropping the generator on the ground,
Plaintiff dragged the generator over to the door of the
signal cabinet, got beside it, and pushed it up to the edge
of the door. He was going to lift the generator and drag it
inside the signal cabinet but, as he squatted down, he felt
pain in his back.
testified that he had sufficient time to do the job of moving
the generator safely. At the time of his incident, Plaintiff
was moving at a safe speed and was not rushing. He was alert,
attentive, and focused on the task of moving the generator.
claims that the railroad should have provided a ramp or
assistive devices like a boom on his truck, a two-wheeled
dolly, or a forklift. He also claims that he should have been
provided with additional help.
assigned the task of moving the generators to himself. No one
at the railroad gave Plaintiff instructions on how to move
the generators, or said that they had to be moved by a
certain day. No one at the railroad prevented plaintiff from
getting help, a boom, a ramp, a dolly, or a forklift, for the
purpose of moving the generators. All decisions on how the
generator was going to be moved were made by Plaintiff.
his incident, Plaintiff did not anticipate any problems with
the task of moving the generator. Plaintiff completed a
"lone worker job briefing" before his incident in
which he determined that he did not need any special tools or
lifting devices to do the job safely. The only risk Plaintiff
identified in his "lone worker job briefing" was
the need to use proper lifting techniques-he did not identify
risks like the lack of a ramp or the need for additional help
or assistive devices.
his incident occurred, Plaintiff had never complained that he
needed a ramp, boom, dolly, forklift, or additional help, to
move the generator. Plaintiff did not try to obtain any
special tools before moving the generator. He did not try to
obtain a ramp, boom, dolly, or forklift, before moving the
generator. Even though there were about ten members of a
maintenance-of-way gang in the depot on the morning of his
incident, Plaintiff did not ask anyone to help him move the
time of his incident, plaintiff was a supervisor over
numerous employees and had authority to direct them to do the
work or to assist him in doing the work. Plaintiff believed
before he started moving the generator on the day of his
incident that he could move the ...