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Whistleblower’s Claim of Termination for Reporting Deficient Preventative Maintenance Dismissed

In a per curiam decision, a New Jersey appeals court affirmed a decision dismissing a worker’s whistleblower claim against his former employer, a trucking company.  The worker alleged that he was wrongfully terminated from his job as a mechanic after reporting violations of the company’s preventative maintenance program.  The appellate court’s decision turned on whether the...

Department of Transportation Investigating Shippers of Crude Oil by Truck For Sampling and Testing Programs

In the last few months, the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) has initiated an enforcement investigation into whether commodity traders who contract to ship crude oil by truck maintain a written sampling and testing program for these activities.  The requirement to maintain a sampling and testing program was implemented in a DOT final rule issued in May 2015, which also set out...

Illinois and Texas Cases Stemming from Lac-Megantic Derailment Transferred to Maine

The U.S. District Court for the District of Maine agreed last week to transfer Illinois and Texas cases related to the 2013 crude oil train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec to the District of Maine pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 157(b)(5).  The transferred cases include personal injury tort and wrongful death cases pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and...

Enhanced Process Safety Planning for Public Transportation Systems Coming Soon

Certain well publicized catastrophic accidents in recent years across various industries has prompted an emphasis on process safety.  Lapses in process safety often lead to the low-frequency, high-risk type of accidents.  On Friday, the Department of Transportation continued this trend of focusing on process safety.  The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued a Notice of Proposed...

DOT Proposes New Rule To Assess Motor Carriers’ Safety Compliance

Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a rulemaking proposal to improve the agency’s ability to identify non-compliant motor carriers by integrating on-road safety data from inspections, in addition to the results of carrier investigations and crash reports, into the agency’s safety fitness...

New Railroad Track Inspection Standards Forthcoming After West Virginia Derailment Findings Released

The Federal Railroad Administration announced yesterday new upcoming rail-track standards in connection with reporting its detailed findings of the crude train derailment earlier this year in West Virginia.  The agency announced it will release a Safety Advisory, which urges closer and more detailed inspections where defects and flaws are suspected, and stronger training for rail...

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