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Texas High Court Swats Employee's West Nile Virus Suit

Law360, Houston (June 24, 2016, 7:37 PM EDT) -- The Texas Supreme Court on Friday determined that Union Pacific Railroad Co. is shielded from a worker's suit alleging that he was infected with the West Nile virus on the job, because state common law limits a property owner's liability for harm from indigenous animals.

Union Pacific had argued that the common law defense of “ferae naturae,” which essentially means “wild animals,” can apply to the claim of injured worker William Nami, which was brought under the Federal Employers Liability Act. The doctrine, Union Pacific told the court, limits the liability of the property owner as long as he or she...

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