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Cons. Rail Corp. v. Republic Steel Corp.

OPINION FILED DECEMBER 6, 1984.

CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,

v.

REPUBLIC STEEL CORPORATION, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. William R. Quinlan, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE JOHNSON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied April 2, 1985.

Plaintiffs, Consolidated Rail Corporation and Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Company, appeal a decision of the trial court dismissing with prejudice their first amended complaint against defendant, Republic Steel Corporation. The sole issue raised for review is whether the trial court erred in holding that plaintiffs' complaint failed to allege any possible basis on which a right to indemnity could be proved.

We affirm.

On January 9, 1980, plaintiffs filed suit against defendant. Plaintiffs are railroad corporations transacting business in Cook County. Defendant, a corporation also transacting business in Cook County, owned and maintained property in Chicago which included railroad tracks, roadbeds and switches.

On January 26, 1978, Frederick Morris, an employee of Consolidated Rail Corporation, was injured while performing work for plaintiffs on defendant's property. Morris made a claim for damages against plaintiffs under provisions of the Federal Employers' Liability Act (45 U.S.C.A. sec. 51 et seq. (1972)) (hereafter FELA). This Act imposed upon plaintiffs a duty to provide a safe place to work for their employees. Defendant refused plaintiffs' demand that it take over and pay the claim of Morris. Plaintiffs settled the claim for $15,000.

Plaintiffs claimed that defendant was guilty of negligence and proximately caused Morris' injuries by carelessly and negligently failing to do the following:

(1) Exercise ordinary care in furnishing Morris with a reasonably safe place to work;

(2) Exercise ordinary care in using reasonably safe methods in its operations;

(3) Inspect its property;

(4) Properly maintain its property;

(5) Clean up and remove coal, coke and other debris;

(6) Warn Morris of the dangers of working in ...


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