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The Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA), 45 U.S.C. § 51 et seq. does not incorporate 'proximate cause' standards developed in nonstatutory common-law tort actions. The charge proper in FELA cases simply tracks the language Congress employed, informing juries that a defendant railroad caused or contributed to a plaintiff employee's injury if the railroad's negligence played any part in bringing about the injury. 


The railroad business was exceptionally hazardous at the dawn of the twentieth century. As we have recounted, 'the physical dangers of railroading ... resulted in the death or maiming of thousands of workers every year,' Consolidated Rail Corporation v. Gottshall, 512 U.S. 532, 542, 114 S.Ct. 2396, 129 L.Ed.2d 427 (1994), including 281,645 casualties in the year 1908 alone, S.Rep. No. 61-432, p. 2 (1910). Enacted that same year in an effort to 'shif[t] part of the human overhead of doing business from employees to their employers,' Gottshall, 512 U.S., at 542, 114 S.Ct. 2396 (internal quotation marks omitted), FELA prescribes:'Every common carrier by railroad... shall be liable in damages to any person suffering injury while he is employed by such carrier ... for such injury or death resulting in whole or in ...

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