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A series of phone calls secretly recorded by a track inspector-turned-whistleblower at Burlington Northern Santa Fe is raising more questions about the safety culture at Minnesota’s largest railroad.
“Why can’t we just fix the (expletive) defects?” an employee is heard saying on one of the calls.
The recordings, which have not been previously reported, are part of a 2017 lawsuit filed in federal court by former track inspector, Don Sanders.
A jury later found BNSF retaliated against Sanders after he claimed he was fired for reporting “too many defects.”
The railroad is currently appealing a multi-million-dollar verdict. BNSF did not respond to requests to comment on the recordings obtained by 5 INVESTIGATES. In a previous statement, a spokesperson said the company “does not retaliate against employees.”