Tolby Compton v. Norfolk Southern

Compton v. Norfolk Southern (Ky.)

Engineer Tolby Compton suffered a head injury after falling on locomotive steps with grease present. NSRC denied that the small amount of grease caused his fall and called Tolby a faker and a liar.


John Steel addressed this issue head on at trial in Louisville, KY in his closing

The jury agreed with Tolby and awarded $2,903,000 in damages.


You must apply your common sense to the evidence and I’m going to implore you to do that

The only thing that makes sense and adds up is that Tolby is permanently and profoundly injured

They’re calling him a liar, cheat, faker, malingerer

Locomotive Inspection Act (LIA)

The Locomotive Inspection Act (LIA) protects injured rail workers who are injured due to defective or unsafe conditions on a locomotive.

The Locomotive Inspection Act (49 USC § 20701) states:

A railroad carrier may use or allow to be used a locomotive or tender on its railroad line only when the locomotive or tender and its parts and appurtenances–
(1) are in proper condition and safe to operate without unnecessary danger of personal injury;
(2) have been inspected as required under this chapter and regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Transportation under this chapter; and
(3) can withstand every test prescribed by the Secretary under this chapter.

This places an absolute duty upon the railroad to provide a locomotive free of all safety hazards; further the Code of Federal Regulations “Prescribes minimum Federal safety standards for all locomotives except those propelled by steam power”


Louisville, KY
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