Kelly Holleran Dec. 18, 2013, 10:50am

A man has filed suit against his former employer, alleging he sustained lung damages after he was exposed to carcinogenic welding fumes while working for a railroad.

John C. Hopper claims he was working for defendant Norfolk Southern Railway Company from 1979 through 2010. During his tenure, Hopper was employed to repair and weld railroad tracks but was exposed to toxic fumes while doing so, according to the complaint filed Dec. 9 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Because of his exposure to the carcinogenic fumes, Hopper suffered severe and permanent injuries to his lungs and respiratory system and he endured great pain and mental anguish, the suit states. He also lost money, experienced a greatly impaired earning capacity and incurred medical costs, the complaint says.

Hopper blames Norfolk Southern Railway Company for causing his injuries, saying it negligently failed to provide him with a safe place to work, failed to warn him of the hazards of welding fumes, failed to provide him with proper safety equipment or safe work methods, failed to provide him with suitable tools and failed to give him adequate supervision.

In his complaint, Hopper is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

He will be represented by Gregory M. Tobin of Pratt and Tobin in East Alton.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-2066.

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