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The full case caption appears at the end of this opinion.

Ronald Goff, a locomotive engineer for the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad (DM&E), was operating a DM&E train which derailed in South Dakota. A postaccident drug test revealed the presence of a marijuana metabolite in Goff’s system. After an investigation and a disciplinary hearing, DM&E terminated Goff as a result of his drug use. Goff appealed his dismissal to a Public Law Board (the Board), convened pursuant to the Railway Labor Act (RLA), 45 U.S.C. �� 151-188. The Board reinstated Goff with seniority and benefits but denied his claim for lost wages. Goff sought further review in the district court, which reversed and remanded the Board’s decision, finding that DM&E had committed fraud during the Board hearing and had denied Goff due process. Upon review, we conclude that the district court clearly erred in its findings, and accordingly, we reverse and remand for reinstatement of the Board’s order.


Following the August 22, 1995, derailment near New Underwood, South Dakota, DM&E directed Goff to move the undamaged section of the train on eastwardly. Once relieved by a crew change, Goff and his crew were transported to a local medical center in Rapid City to provide urine and blood samples for a toxicology screening. The medical center split Goff’s urine sample into two testable portions. On August 29, 1995, DM&E Vice President of Transportation Robert Irwin informed Goff that his urine sample tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a marijuana metabolite. Goff requested that the untested half of his split urine sample be tested by another laboratory. The second test also came back positive for THC. Irwin ordered Goff removed from service pending a hearing.

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