Norfolk & Western Railway Company v. Hiles - Oral Argument - January 08, 1996 Page 21

Norfolk & Western Railway Company v. Hiles

Media for Norfolk & Western Railway Company v. Hiles

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - February 27, 1996 in Norfolk & Western Railway Company v. Hiles

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 08, 1996 in Norfolk & Western Railway Company v. Hiles

Lawrence M. Mann:

That's the only thing that's covered by the statute.

You have maintenance testing and inspection.

None of that is covered.

Sandra Day O'Connor:

--Well, the statute doesn't say in preparation for coupling.

It doesn't say that.

I think you're grafting something on that isn't in the statute.

Lawrence M. Mann:

There's the Lewis case.

William H. Rehnquist:

The Lewis case is a court of appeals.

Lawrence M. Mann:

D.C. Circuit.

Yes, that's correct.

William H. Rehnquist:

It's not binding on us.

Lawrence M. Mann:

And it doesn't specifically say that, but when you look at Wagner case, for example, there was no movement involved.

That was a person who was preparing... let me explain, if I may.

Sandra Day O'Connor:

Well, don't we have some concern, when we're talking about imposition of a rule of per se liability, to make sure that that's what the statute was intended to cover?

Lawrence M. Mann:

Yes.

Sandra Day O'Connor:

I don't see why we should make a stretch to pick up every conceivable kind of a result here.

Lawrence M. Mann:

I agree, Justice O'Connor, but in the preparation for it... I think it's certainly reasonable to include preparation if there's a necessity of someone going between the cars.

And I'll refer you back to the old Wagner case of the Court.

That case, the employee was literally standing on this coupler--

William H. Rehnquist:

Your time has expired, Mr. Mann.

Thank you.

Mr. Phillips, you have 11 minutes remaining.

Carter G. Phillips:

Mr. Chief Justice, unless there are questions, I'm inclined to give you back my time.

William H. Rehnquist:

Very well.

The case is submitted.