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A recent Law360 article titled, “Norfolk Southern Gets Rail Yard Safety Order Tossed,” discusses how the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court sided with firm client Norfolk Southern Railway Co., represented by Joseph P. Sirbak, John F. Povilaitis and W. Edwin Ogden, in a ruling that resulted in federal regulations preempting a 1975 order from the state’s Public Utility Commission (PUC).

In 2009, Norfolk Southern Railway Corp. petitioned the PUC to amend or rescind the 1975 order that required the railroad to employ two brakemen around the clock at a rail yard because the company had since made technical improvements that rendered the need for multiple brakemen obsolete. On summary judgment, an administrative law judge ruled that the 1975 order was preempted by federal regulations covering the same subject and the PUC adopted the ALJ’s decision and rescinded the 1975 order.

The union appealed to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, which ultimately concluded that the current federal regulations adequately covered the mechanical brake systems that secure unattended rail cars and upheld the PUC’s decision to rescind the 1975 order.
Read the full article - "Norfolk Southern Gets Rail Yard Safety Order Tossed" (Law360, May 21, 2013)