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Baggarley v. Union Pacific Railroad Company

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 11-23-2011
Case #: A145381
Wollheim, J., for the Court; Schuman, P.J.; and Sercombe, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A145381.pdf

Employment Law: When a claimant became aware of his or her work-related injury is a question of fact for the jury to decide in determining the statute of limitations period on a workplace injury claim.

Baggarley injured his hip over a lengthy period of time at work, and he filed a claim under the Federal Employee Liability Act (FELA). Under FELA, an action must be filed within three years of the injury being discovered. Baggarley's employer, Union Pacific Railroad Company, claimed that the injury was discovered in 2004 and Baggarley did not file a claim until 2008, after the statute of limitations would have run out. The Court of Appeals held that the employee has the burden to prove that the discovery of the injury was within the three year period. This is usually a question for a jury unless only one conclusion can be drawn, in which case it goes to the judge. The Court held that here it was possible to reach more than one conclusion about the date that the injury was discovered, so summary judgment for Union Pacific was inappropriate. Reversed and remanded.