Tornado cited in railroad worker's injury claim

Steve Gonzalez Feb. 5, 2007, 6:44am

An Evansville, Ind. man filed a Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) suit against CSX Transportation in Madison County Circuit Court Jan. 25, claiming it failed to provide him with a safe place to work.

Seeking damages in excess of $100,000, Victor Hawkins claims he was permanently and severely injured on Nov. 15, 2005 in Earlington, Ky. as a result of a tornado in the area.

According to the complaint, a high voltage line was caused to collapse and fall on the track throwing Hawkins and his crew forward.

Hawkins, a conductor, also claims that beginning in 2005, he started to develop problems with his right shoulder due to repetitive trauma.

Hawkins claims CSX:

  • failed to warn the train crew of the danger of inclement weather including tornados in the area;

  • failed to provide him with safe and suitable tools and equipment to perform the task required;

  • failed to provide him with reasonably safe methods of work; and

  • failed to furnish sufficient manpower to perform the tasks assigned.

    He claims he sustained severe and permanent injuries to his right shoulder resulting in a disability and disfigurement.

    Hawkins also claims he has and will continue to suffer great pain and mental anguish, lost and will continue to lose wages and earnings, became obligated for medical expenses and claims his future earning capacity has been seriously diminished.

    Hawkins is represented by David Jones of Pratt & Tobin in East Alton.

    The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.

    07 L 84

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