Champaign County resident files FELA suit in Madison County

Steve Gonzalez Oct. 3, 2006, 6:06am

The estate of Lyndel Strowmatt filed a Federal Employers' Liability Act suit against Illinois Central Railroad (ICR) claiming they failed to provide him a safe place to work.

The estate, represented by Lyndel's wife, Nancy Strowmatt of Champaign County, claims Lyndel was exposed to and was caused to inhale asbestos fibers, free silica, diesel fumes, solvent fumes, gasoline fumes, fibrogenic materials and other substances harmful to the respiratory system.

According to the complaint filed Sept. 27 in Madison County, Lyndel was a brakeman/trainman for ICR and worked into Madison County as part of his job duties.

Strowmatt claims her husband died on Jan. 22, 2003, as a result of occupationally-related lung disease including lung cancer, asbestosis, and other serious pulmonary diseases defined by his medical records.

Lyndel was diagnosed with his illness of Nov. 14, 2003.

"The injuries, disease and disability of the plaintiff were caused by exposure to deleterious substances while working for defendant," the complaint states.

Strowmatt claims ICR failed to supply safe methods for work, failed to supply reasonably safe equipment, failed to supply sufficient help, failed to warn of the risks and dangers in working with and around harmful substances and allowing her husband to be exposed to dangerous levels of harmful substances.

She also claims they failed to employ safe working practices, failed to issue and enforce adequate safety rules, failed to modify or eliminate job duties, equipment or practices to minimize the levels of exposure and failed to use due care and caution required under the circumstances.

Strowmatt claims Lyndel suffered great physical pain and suffering and inconvenience up to his death, suffered from nervous and emotional tension, suffered financial losses, became liable for medical expenses and suffered a loss of the enjoyment of life's pleasures.

"The surviving family is entitled to be compensated for the present value of financial contribution which decedent would reasonably be expected to have given his family, the pecuniary value of services which his spouse might reasonably have expected to receive from him in the future and the loss to his children and all other reasonable damages," the complaint states.

Represented by Daniel Francis of St. Louis and Randy Gori of Edwardsville, Strowmatt is seeking "a fair and reasonable amount" in excess of $50,000.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nick Byron.

06 L 833

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