CSX Transportation, Inc. v. SmithAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff brought a slip and fall action against CSX under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA), 45 U.S.C. 51 et seq., which provided a federal tort remedy for interstate railroad employees who were injured while working within the scope of their employment. At issue was whether 29 C.F.R. 1910.24(f) applied to an indoor office building and whether the trial court erred in allowing the jury to hear evidence of, and determine whether, plaintiff was out of service because he was within the broad scope of protection of the FELA. The court held that, because the requirement of section 1910.24(f) that the nosings be of nonslip finish was applicable to the stairs in CSX's office building, was raised by the evidence, and was not otherwise covered in the jury instructions, the trial court should have given plaintiff's request to charge the jury that it could consider a violation of that regulation as evidence of negligence on the part of CSX. The court also held that because the circumstances surrounding plaintiff's dispute with the supervisors a few hours before he went to CSX's administration building to attend the safety meeting were at least indirectly material to matters at issue in this case, including whether plaintiff was acting within the cope of his employment at the time of his fall, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing CSX to cross-examine plaintiff on the issue and in admitting the testimony of supervisors for purposes of disproving certain facts to which plaintiff had testified.