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Jones v. CSX Transp.

ELR Citation: 32 ELR 20641
Nos. No. 01-14786, 287 F.3d 1341/(11th Cir., 04/11/2002)

The court holds that plaintiffs alleging an emotional distress claim under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) must make some showing of an objective manifestation of emotional injury. Two employees of a railroad sued the railroad under FELA alleging that their exposure to asbestos on the job caused physical injury and emotional distress from their fear of contracting cancer. A district court granted the railroad partial summary judgment on the employees' emotional distress claims because they had failed to show an objective measure of their emotional distress. The employees appealed. The court first holds that U.S. Supreme Court precedent, state-law precedent, and the common law support the requirement for an objective manifestation of emotional distress. Thus, the employees were required to make some showing of an objective manifestation of their emotional injury in order to recover for negligently inflicted emotional distress under FELA. They made no showing at all of any objective manifestation or consequence of their emotional distress. Thus, the district court properly granted summary judgment to the railroad on the employees' FELA claims for emotional distress.

The full text of this decision is available from ELR (12 pp., ELR Order No. L-502).

[Counsel not available at this printing.]