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Civil Procedure Keyed to Subrin
BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell
Citation:137 S. Ct. 1549 (2017)
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- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
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- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Plaintiff Nelson brought a Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) suit against Defendant in a Montana state court, alleging that he had sustained injuries while working for Defendant. FELA made railroads liable in money damages to their employees for on-the-job injuries. Plaintiff Tyrrell also sued Defendant under FELA in a Montana state court, alleging that her deceased husband had developed a fatal cancer from his exposure to carcinogenic chemicals while working for Defendant. In both cases, the injury did not occur in Montana. Defendant neither incorporated nor headquartered there. Additionally, it only maintained less than five percent of its work force and about six percent of its total track mileage in the State. Defendant moved to dismiss both suits, arguing that it was not “at home” in Montana as required for general jurisdiction under Daimler AG v. Bauman. Its motion was granted in Nelson’s case and denied in Tyrell’s case. After consolidating the cases, the Montana Supreme Court held that Montana courts could exercise general jurisdiction over Defendant because the railroad both “did business” in the State within the meaning of 45 U.S.C. §56 and was “found within” the State within the compass of Mont. R. Civ. Proc. 4(b)(1). The Montana Supreme Court also held that the due process limits articulated in Daimler did not control because Daimler did not involve a FELA claim or a railroad defendant. Defendant sought review.
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