Railroad forced engineer to work during heart attack, suit claims

Ann Knef Aug. 11, 2006, 3:05am

A woman from central Illinois has filed a negligence and wrongful death suit against Kansas City Southern Railway and other defendants in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Vickie L. Bast of Greenup (Cumberland County) claims Stephen Bast, Sr., who was a locomotive engineer, died because he was not allowed to take a sick day.

Bast suffered an acute heart attack and stroke on Aug. 2, 2003, a day he was scheduled to work a route between Vamdalia and East St. Louis. Despite requests to refrain from work because he felt gravely ill, his employer required him to continue working, the complaint states.

According to the suit filed Aug. 1, Bast was forced to continue operating a moving train miles away from emergency medical services even though railroad personnel knew that he was seriously ill.

The suit claims Bast suffered a weakened heart and slight paralysis, loss of body strength and "overall deterioration of bodily function leading to a massive cardiac attack and ultimately death on February 25, 2004."

Other defendants include Gateway Western Railway and Gateway Eastern Railway

Seeking in excess of $300,000 in damages, Vickie Bast is represented by Nancy R. Richards of Kujawski & Nowak of O'Fallon.

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