On C-SPAN Radio’ s historic Supreme Court Oral Argument this week: On November 30, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the oral argument in “FAA v. Cooper”—a case about whether mental or emotional injuries count as actual damages, under the Privacy Act. On November 19th, on C-SPAN Radio’s historic Supreme Court oral argument, a case cited in “FAA v. Cooper.” From 1994: “Consolidated Rail Corporation, Petitioner v. James Gottshall and Alan Carlisle, Respondents.”
Conrail employee James Gottshall saw fellow worker, Richard Johns die of a heart attack while on duty. Mr. Gottshall's boss postponed seeking medical assistance for Mr. Johns----insisted that the rest of the crew keep working---and left the body at the work site for the remainder of the work day. Shortly after Richard Johns's death, James Gottshall was admitted to a psychiatric institution—and he sued Conrail under the Federal Employers' Liability Act, or FELA, claiming Conrail exposed him to distressing circumstances which he claimed caused his illness. A District Court rejected the suit. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed and found that Mr. Gottshall's injuries were "genuine and severe."
Conrail employee Alan Carlisle also filed a FELA action against Conrail, claming Conrail subjected him to unsafe working conditions, which caused him stress and lead to health problems. The Third Circuit affirmed the judgment for Mr. Carlisle, finding that the stress-related health problems were foreseeable to Conrail.
Listen to the courtroom recording of the oral argument in the 1994 case "Conrail v. Gotshall and Carlisle”--Saturday, November 19 at 6 pm ET on C-SPAN Radio: 90.1 FM in the Washington, DC area, online at Cspanradio.org and nationwide on XM Satellite Radio, channel 119. The audio and information in this program are courtesy of the Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law at: http://www.oyez.org/