49 U.S. Code § 11704. Rights and remedies of persons injured by rail carriers
A person injured because a rail carrier providing transportation or service subject to the jurisdiction of the Board under this part does not obey an order of the Board, except an order for the payment of money, may bring a civil action in a United States District Court to enforce that order under this subsection.
A rail carrier providing transportation subject to the jurisdiction of the Board under this part is liable for damages sustained by a person as a result of an act or omission of that carrier in violation of this part. A rail carrier providing transportation subject to the jurisdiction of the Board under this part is liable to a person for amounts charged that exceed the applicable rate for the transportation.
When the Board makes an award under subsection (b) of this section, the Board shall order the rail carrier to pay the amount awarded by a specific date. The Board may order a rail carrier providing transportation subject to the jurisdiction of the Board under this part to pay damages only when the proceeding is on complaint. The person for whose benefit an order of the Board requiring the payment of money is made may bring a civil action to enforce that order under this paragraph if the rail carrier does not pay the amount awarded by the date payment was ordered to be made.
(1) When a person begins a civil action under subsection (b) of this section to enforce an order of the Board requiring the payment of damages by a rail carrier providing transportation subject to the jurisdiction of the Board under this part, the text of the order of the Board must be included in the complaint. In addition to the district courts of the United States, a State court of general jurisdiction having jurisdiction of the parties has jurisdiction to enforce an order under this paragraph. The findings and order of the Board are competent evidence of the facts stated in them. Trial in a civil action brought in a district court of the United States under this paragraph is in the judicial district—
in which the principal operating office of the rail carrier is located; or
through which the railroad line of that carrier runs.
In a civil action under this paragraph, the plaintiff is liable for only those costs that accrue on an appeal taken by the plaintiff.
All parties in whose favor the award was made may be joined as plaintiffs in a civil action brought in a district court of the United States under this subsection and all the rail carriers that are parties to the order awarding damages may be joined as defendants. Trial in the action is in the judicial district in which any one of the plaintiffs could bring the action against any one of the defendants. Process may be served on a defendant at its principal operating office when that defendant is not in the district in which the action is brought. A judgment ordering recovery may be made in favor of any of those plaintiffs against the defendant found to be liable to that plaintiff.
The district court shall award a reasonable attorney’s fee as a part of the damages for which a rail carrier is found liable under this subsection. The district court shall tax and collect that fee as a part of the costs of the action.
A prior section 11704, Pub. L. 95–473, Oct. 17, 1978, 92 Stat. 1451, related to actions by private persons to enjoin abandonment of service, prior to the general amendment of this subtitle by Pub. L. 104–88, § 102(a).