Illinois Central Railroad Company v. Jackson

Deborah Jackson sued Illinois Central Railroad Company under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) for the wrongful death of her husband, Charles. Jackson alleged that her husband’s death from lung cancer was caused by his exposure to asbestos while working for the railroad. After the close of discovery, Illinois Central filed a motion for summary judgment and a motion to strike Jackson’s expert, Michael Ellenbecker. Later, Illinois Central moved to strike improper evidence from Jackson’s response to the motion for summary judgment. When Jackson attempted to supplement Ellenbecker’s designation at the summary-judgment hearing, Illinois Central moved ore tenus to strike the supplementation. The Circuit Court denied all of Illinois Central’s motions. Illinois Central appealed. After review, the Mississippi Supreme Court found that Jackson’s expert designation of Ellenbecker was improper summary-judgment evidence because it was not sworn to upon personal knowledge and constituted inadmissible hearsay. Because the supplemental response was unsworn and never was filed, it also was improper. And, because Jackson could not show a genuine issue of material fact without Ellenbecker’s testimony, the Court reversed the denial of summary judgment and rendered judgment in favor of Illinois Central. View "Illinois Central Railroad Company v. Jackson" on Justia Law