California Court of Appeal

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S. California Reg'l Rail Auth. v. Superior Court (Tutino), B200777

In a tort action arising from a train derailment incident, raising the issue of whether federal regulations preempt plaintiffs' claims that railway-defendant was negligent for operating a train involved in the incident in "push mode", the court of appeals rules that: 1) regulations promulgated by the Federal Railroad Administration substantially subsume the allegations of negligence to the extent based on operations of commuter trains in "push mode"; and 2) thus, plaintiffs may not, through application of common law negligence principles, impose additional or different requirements.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 06/03/2008
  • Published 06/03/2008


  • KLEIN, P.J.


  • California Court of Appeal


  • For Appellant:
  • Randolph Cregger & Chalfant, Joseph P. Mascovich, Sacramento;  Cummins & White, James R. Wakefield;  Sims Law Firm and Michael E. Murphy for Petitioners., Landman Corsi Ballaine & Ford, Ameet B. Kabrawala and William G. Ballaine, for National Railroad Passenger Corporation as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Petitioners., Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis, Raymond E. Loughrey, San Francisco;  James LaRusch, for American Public Transportation Association as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Petitioners., Louis P. Warchot, Daniel Saphire;  Ernster Law Offices, John H. Ernster and Ryan K. Marden, Pasadena, for Association of American Railroads as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Petitioners., Hanson Bridgett Marcus Vlahos & Rudy, David J. Miller, Michael N. Conneran, Kimon Manolius and Warren R. Webster, San Francisco, for Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (Caltrain) as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Petitioners., Best Best & Krieger, C. Michael Cowett and Paula C.P. de Sousa, San Diego, for North County Transit District as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Petitioners., Neumiller & Beardslee, Thomas J. Shephard, Sr., John W. Stovall, Stockton, and Jeremy B. Price, Sacramento, for San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Petitioners., Arkin & Glovsky and Sharon J. Arkin, Pasadena, for Consumer Attorneys of California as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Real Parties in Interest., O.J. Solander/MatthewB. George, Bruce A. Behrens, Chief Counsel, Thomas C. Fellenz, Deputy Chief Counsel, and Ronald W. Beals, Assistant Chief Counsel for State of California, Department of Transportation as Amicus Curiae of behalf of Petitioners., Ringler Kearney Alvarez, Jerome L. Ringler, Thomas A. Kearney, Los Angeles, Richard L. Rosett;  Esner, Chang & Ellis and Stuart B. Esner, Los Angeles, for Real Parties in Interest.

  • For Appellees:
  • No appearance for Respondent.
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