infarction is disputed. Plaintiff represents that his medical experts will testify that plaintiff's work schedule was a significant producing factor in exacerbating underlying coronary artery disease and contributing to his myocardial infarction. See Document 45 of the Record at 9, 30-31. Submission of these types of issues under the Railway Act was not contemplated by Congress.
"Congress enacted the RLA in 1926 in order to promote stability in the railroad industry and to provide for prompt and efficient resolution of labor-management disputes arising out of railroad collective bargaining agreements." Lewy v. S. Pac. Transp. Co., supra, at 1289. Neither purpose is met by requiring submission of this matter to the arbitration procedures set out in the Railway Act.
Likewise, in this case, arbitration would defeat the liberal construction afforded the FELA. Fox v. Consol. Rail Corp., 739 F.2d 929, 931 (3d Cir. 1984), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 1190, 83 L. Ed. 2d 968, 105 S. Ct. 962 (1985). The FELA "is a statutory mechanism designed to give injured railroad employees a federal right to sue 'in commerce' railroad employers for what would otherwise be a common law action for negligently inflicted tortious damages." Id. Clearly, this purpose would be undercut were this court to hold that plaintiff's allegations failed to assert a cognizable FELA claim.
Assuming arguendo that the court were to find it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over that portion of plaintiff's claim relying on improper working conditions involving excessive working hours, plaintiff asserts a second claim alleging that defendant negligently conducted a medical examination of plaintiff which led, in part, to plaintiff's myocardial infarction. That is, plaintiff intends to prove that defendant's failure to perform adequate testing significantly increased plaintiff's risk of sustaining a myocardial infarction. See Fletcher v. Union Pac. R.R. Co., 621 F.2d 902 (8th Cir. 1980), cert. denied, 449 U.S. 1110, 66 L. Ed. 2d 839, 101 S. Ct. 918 (1981).
While the collective bargaining agreement appears to provide for such examinations, see Document 33 of the Record, Exhibit 1 at 102-Rule 95, it is inconceivable that plaintiff's claim would fall within the purview of the Railway Act. The collective bargaining agreement generally refers to physical examinations of employees. Plaintiff's claim, however, is not based on the fact that defendant failed to perform an examination as required by the agreement. Instead, plaintiff relies on the common law axiom, cognizable in a FELA action, that once an employer undertakes to give physical examinations, it is liable if it performs such undertaking negligently. See Fletcher v. Union Pac. R. R. Co., supra, at 909. For the reasons already set forth, the court finds that submission of this claim to arbitration under the RLA is not mandated.
Defendant, relying on the case of Lancaster v. Norfolk and W. Ry. Co., supra, apparently maintains that because plaintiff's claim is not based on any physical contact or threat of physical contact, an injury pursuant to the FELA did not result. In Randall v. Reading Co., 344 F. Supp. 879 (M.D. Pa. 1972) (Muir, D. J.), the court rejected defendant's contention that plaintiff's recovery required evidence that plaintiff suffered "bodily injury" as a result of an accident within the meaning of the FELA. The uncontroverted fact that plaintiff suffered a heart attack while on the job was sufficient given the broad definition of injury in the FELA.
The court in Randall noted, and I agree, that defendant's rewording of the statute would depart radically from the language of the FELA and erect what amounts to an impact rule for recovery. Id. at 882. Accord Yawn v. S. R.R. Co., supra. Similarly, in Buell v. Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Ry. Co., the court, relying in part on Randall, affirmed the FELA's broad concept of injury encompassing all reasonably foreseeable injuries which result from a railroad's failure to exercise due care with respect to its employees. Id. at 1322. But see Lancaster v. Norfolk and W. Ry. Co., supra; Moody v. Maine Cent. R.R. Co., 620 F. Supp. 1472 (D. Maine 1985).
Similarly, in Urie v. Thompson, supra, the United States Supreme Court stated, "to read into this all-inclusive wording a restriction as to the . . . particular sorts of harm inflicted, would be contradictory to the wording, the remedial and humanitarian purpose and the constant and established course of liberal construction of the Act followed by this Court." Id. 337 U.S. at 181-82 (footnote omitted). Relying on this principle of statutory construction, the court held:
In our view, when the employer's negligence impairs or destroys an employee's health by requiring him to work under conditions likely to bring about such harmful consequences, the injury to the employee is just as great when it follows, often inevitably, from a carrier's negligent course pursued over an extended period of time as when it comes with the suddenness of lightning.