Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Murphy v. Professional Transportation, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

March 1, 2018




         Before the Court is Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 114). Plaintiff Robert Murphy is proceeding on a single Count Complaint against Defendant Professional Transportation, Inc. (“PTI”), alleging violations of the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act (“IPWA”), 820 ILCS 130/1, et seq. (Doc. 14).[1] For the following reasons, summary judgment is GRANTED.


         PTI is a corporation that provides transportation services for railroads. (Doc. 81 at 5). Plaintiff Robert Murphy was one of a group of drivers employed by PTI who were assigned to provide ground transportation services to the Union Pacific Railroad, allegedly in connection with track replacement work on the Illinois High Speed Rail Project. (Doc. 14 at ¶ 11).

         The High Speed Rail Project

         The Illinois High Speed Rail Project was established to replace and upgrade existing rail track infrastructure between St. Louis and Chicago to accommodate high speed trains travelling up to 110 miles per hour. On December 10, 2010, PTI entered into a “Long Haul, Yard and Shuttle Transportation Service” agreement to provide transport services to the Union Pacific Railroad Company (“Union Pacific). (Doc. 81-6 at 4-19). Union Pacific and the Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”), acting on behalf of the State of Illinois, entered into a contract for the construction of the High Speed Rail Project (The High Speed Rail 2A Construction Agreement hereinafter referred to as the “Agreement” or “Construction Agreement”) on March 4, 2011. (Doc. 81-3 at 12-131). The Construction Agreement is the only contract upon which Murphy bases his claim. (Doc. 115-2 at 15).

         The Construction Agreement contains a number of references to federal money or federal law. In the recitals, it states that Union Pacific and IDOT had applied for funding from the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111-5) high speed rail appropriation and that IDOT had been selected to receive approximately $1.1 billion for the High Speed Rail Project. (Doc. 81-3 at 12). The Agreement explicitly requires compliance with a number of federal statutes and regulations. (Id. at 58).

         Paragraph E in Exhibit J to the Agreement states that Union Pacific “shall comply with the provisions of 49 USC §24405(c)(2) with respect to the payment of prevailing wages with respect to the [High Speed Rail] Project consistent with the provisions of 49 USC §24312[.]” (Id.). Section 24312 mandates that laborers and mechanics “be paid wages not less than those prevailing on similar construction in the locality, as determined by the Secretary of Labor under sections 3141-3144, 3146, and 3147 of title 40.” Paragraph E further provides that the federal prevailing wage regulations and wage rates “established for purposes of this Agreement pursuant to the rates provided by the Department of Labor and certain applicable regulations” are incorporated into the Construction Agreement as an exhibit. (Id.). This language is consistent with the ARRA itself, which requires that “[n]otwithstanding any other provision of law and in a manner consistent with other provisions in this Act, all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors and subcontractors on projects funded directly by or assisted in whole or in part by and through the Federal Government pursuant to this Act shall be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on projects of a character similar in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40.” Pub.L. 111-5 at § 1606.

         Additionally, IDOT took the position that this was a federal construction project and that federal (rather than state) prevailing wage requirements applied. In that vein Acting Deputy Director of IDOT George Weber advised Union Pacific of IDOT's determination that, because the High Speed Rail Project would be “based off of federal funds, [Union Pacific] should use the federal prevailing wage rates.” (Doc. 81-5 at 7).

         The Job

         Plaintiff Murphy was employed by PTI providing transportation services for train crews and equipment, allegedly in connection with the High Speed Rail Project. In Illinois, he transported train crews between the hotel where they were staying and the place where the track replacement train was at the time, followed the train as it moved, and took the crew to and from lunch. (Deposition of Robert Murphy, Doc. 115-1 at 43, 46-47, 58-61). He would also transport supplies and sometimes equipment, including water, toiletries, and an end-of-train device (“EOT”). (Id. at 43-44). Additionally, he sometimes functioned as a “blocker” at uncontrolled railroad crossings, placing his vehicle across the lanes and directing traffic. He could not recall how many times he had done so in the State of Illinois. (Id. at 41, 43).

         The Illinois Prevailing Wage Act

         The IPWA “applies to the wages of laborers, mechanics and other workers employed in any public works, as hereinafter defined, by any public body and to anyone under contracts for public works.” 820 ILCS 130/2. “Public works” is defined as “all fixed works constructed or demolished by any public body, or paid for wholly or in part out of public funds[, ]” and includes “all projects financed in whole or in part with bonds, grants, loans, or other funds made available by or through the State or any of its political subdivisions[.]” Id. “Public body” includes the State of Illinois “or any officer, board or commission of the State or any political subdivision or department thereof, or any institution supported in whole or in part by public funds[.]” Id.

         The IPWA contains two additional limitations on its application. The first creates an exemption for “Federal construction projects which require a prevailing wage determination by the United States Secretary of Labor.” 820 ILCS 130/11. The second limits ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.