Alton & Southern worker files FELA complaint

Steve Gonzalez May 10, 2006, 7:44am

Alton & Southern Railway

An employee in Alton & Southern Railway's Maintenance of Way Department filed a Federal Employers' Liability Act suit seeking damages in excess of $100,000 claiming the railroad failed to provide him with a reasonably safe place to work.

Represented by Edward Szewczyk of the Callis Firm in Granite City, Tommy Lee Harris filed suit in St. Clair County Circuit Court May 4, alleging he sustained injuries on July 27, 2004, when a railroad tie fell from a backhoe, striking his right lower extremity and foot.

Harris claims Alton & Southern failed to provide adequate manpower and assistance for the work being performed, failed to adequately supervise the work being performed, failed to adequately secure the railroad tie to the backhoe, failed to provide appropriate equipment and failed to warn him of the hazards associated with the work being performed.

He claims as a result of incident he has sustained permanent injuries which have resulted in pain and suffering, a disability, the loss of a normal life, lost wages and medical expenses.

Harris also claims that once he reported that he was going to pursue his rights to recovery under FELA, he was terminated from his job in retaliation for seeking damages for his work-related injuries.

According to Harris, at the time of the accident, he was considered a probationary employee and was not yet a union member and was not included in any collective bargaining agreement.

"Alton & Southern terminated Harris intentionally and maliciously," the complaint alleges.

Harris claims his alleged wrongful termination has caused lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional upset, damage to his reputation, embarrassment, inconvenience and loss of a normal life.

06 L 277 (20th Circuit)

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