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Firm Scores Victory in Federal District Court for Video Monitoring of Passenger Locomotive Cabs

Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell secured an important victory for its client, Southern California Regional Rail Authority ("Metrolink"), by obtaining the dismissal of challenges to the Metrolink's use of video cameras equipped with audio recording devices in the cabs of Metrolink locomotives.  On June 30, 2010, Judge Percy Anderson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Central California granted the Firm's motion to dismiss a complaint filed by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen ("BLET") seeking removal of the cameras.  Metrolink installed cameras in its locomotives in October 2009 as a safety measure in order to monitor compliance with certain operating rules, including the rule barring the use of handheld electronic devices, while the engineers operate passenger trains.  The U.S. District Court granted Metrolink's motion for judgment on the pleadings, holding that (a) Metrolink's policy was not preempted by federal law, (b) the installation of the cameras did not infringe the engineers' substantive or procedural due process rights, and (c) BLET could not obtain a court order allowing its members to "work to rule" to protest the cameras.  The Court had previously dismissed the Union's civil rights complaints.