Dresser v. Union Pacific R.R. Co.Annotate this Case
Krista Rosencrans was severely injured when a train collided with a motor vehicle in which she was a passenger. Rosencrans and her mother (collectively, Appellants) brought a negligence action against Union Pacific and the operator of the motor vehicle. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Union Pacific, determining, among other things, that the claims that the train crew failed to maintain a proper lookout and failed to slow or stop the train to avoid a specific hazard were excessive speed claims and thus preempted by the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA). The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that the district court erred in finding that Appellants' state law negligence claim based on failure to slow the train was preempted where Appellants' claim based on Union Pacific's alleged failure to exercise ordinary care once it appeared that a collision would probably occur was not necessarily speed based and thus preempted. Remanded.