Roth v. Noralfco, LLC, No. 10-2524 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff was unloading a railway tank car filled with sulfuric acid when its chemical contents exploded, spraying across his face and chest and inflicting severe burns. He sought damages under the common law, but the district court held that his lawsuit was preempted by the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act, 49 U.S.C. 5101–5128. The Third Circuit affirmed. The Act expressly preempts any common law requirement about the design of a package, container, or packaging component qualified for use in transporting hazardous materials in commerce. The tank car at issue is a container qualified for such use, regardless of whether what plaintiff was doing constituted transport or his employment status at the precise moment of his injury.