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Date: 11-30-2023

Case Style:

Jeff Hartley v. Keolis Commuter Services, LLC.

Case Number: 1:22-cv-10212

Judge: F. Dennis Saylor, IV

Court: United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Suffolk County)

Plaintiff's Attorney:

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Defendant's Attorney: Richard A. Davidson, Jr.

Description: Boston, Massachusetts personal injury lawyer represented the Plaintiff who sued the Defendants on a Federal Employer's Liability Act (FELA) theory.

Keolis Commuter Services operates the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's 14 commuter rail lines serving the Greater Boston region and Rhode Island.

"The Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA), codified at 45 U.S.C. §§ 51-60, is a federal law in the United States that governs the right of railroad employees injured, sickened or killed in the course of their employment through an employer's negligence to sue the employer for damages.

Purpose of FELA

The FELA was enacted in 1908 to address the harsh working conditions and high rates of injury and death among railroad workers. At the time, railroad companies were often immune from lawsuits under common law doctrines such as the fellow servant rule and assumption of the risk. The FELA abolished these defenses and established a system of strict liability for railroad employers, making it easier for railroad workers to recover damages for injuries caused by their employer's negligence.

Key Provisions of FELA

The FELA provides that railroad employers are liable for damages to employees who are injured or killed as a result of the employer's negligence or the negligence of its agents or employees. This means that the employer is liable even if it did not directly cause the injury, but if the injury was caused by a condition or defect that the employer could have prevented or remedied.

The FELA also provides that railroad employers are liable for damages to employees who are sickened as a result of their employment. This includes diseases caused by exposure to hazardous substances, repetitive stress injuries, and other work-related illnesses.

Damages Available Under FELA

FELA plaintiffs can recover a variety of damages, including:

Economic damages: These are damages that can be measured in monetary terms, such as lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
Non-economic damages: These are damages that are difficult to measure in monetary terms, such as emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and punitive damages.

Burden of Proof

In order to recover damages under the FELA, an employee must prove that the employer was negligent and that the negligence caused the injury or illness. The employee must also prove the extent of their damages.

Statute of Limitations

FELA claims must be filed within three years of the date of the injury or illness.


FELA claims can be filed in either state or federal court.

Impact of FELA

The FELA has had a significant impact on the lives of railroad workers. It has made it easier for railroad workers to recover damages for injuries and illnesses caused by their employer's negligence. It has also helped to improve safety conditions on railroads.


The FELA is an important law that protects the rights of railroad workers. It is a complex law, and it is important to consult with an attorney if you have been injured or sickened as a result of your employment on a railroad."

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Outcome: 11/30/2023 35 STIPULATION of Dismissal NISI by Jeff Hartley. (Naumes, Christopher) (Entered: 11/30/2023)
11/30/2023 36 Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor, IV: ORDER entered. 30-DAY SETTLEMENT ORDER OF DISMISSAL. (de Oliveira, Flaviana) (Entered: 11/30/2023)

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