Train engineer claims seat lacked proper padding

Ann Knef Jan. 9, 2007, 6:05am

CSX Transportation locomotive engineer Homer A. Lowrance filed a Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) suit against his employer claiming back and hip pain, as well as a partial amputation of his finger.

According to the suit filed Jan. 2 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, the train Lowrance was operating on Sept. 6, 2005, "bottomed out," causing him to be thrown about in his seat "after which the train started experiencing severe lateral movement."

Lowrance is represented by Drew C. Baebler of Bauer & Baebler of St. Louis.

He claims the seat he was assigned to sit in was lacking proper padding, causing further pain in his back and hip "such that he had to change seats and sit in the conductor's seat," the complaint states.

"As the train progressed, the door on the conductor's side opened and when plaintiff rose to shut the door of the locomotive, it slammed shut on his finger, resulting in partial amputation.

"Prior to these injuries, plaintiff was an able-bodied man, capable of performing heavy, strenuous manual labor and had been doing so while working for the defendant.

"In the event plaintiff did have any infirmities to the aforementioned parts of his body of which he was not aware, said conditions were aggravated, exacerbated and caused to become symptomatic by the trauma sustained by plaintiff during the course of his work."

Lowrance also is seeking damages under the Locomotive Inspection Act and Federal Track Safety Standards.

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