After BNSF Railway petitioned a federal court in St. Louis to stay state court proceedings and order mandatory arbitration of claims arising from a train derailment, CCL filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. The case, previously reported in this blog on November 3, involves deaths and injuries from a train's crash with a dump truck near Mendon, Missouri.

     BNSF contends that it is premature to determine the validity of the Amtrak arbitration agreement that it relies upon, even though that is the first step a court must undertake in response to either BNSF's motion to stay proceedings or the plaintiffs' motion to dismiss. CCL's reply brief in support of dismissal makes that point and suggests that BNSF's refusal to defend the basis of its arbitration agreement waives it and warrants immediate dismissal of the federal case so that the state case may proceed.