Coon firm files FELA case in Madison County

Steve Gonzalez Jun. 6, 2007, 5:00am

Abraham Vannoy of Lincoln, Ill. filed a Federal Employers' Liability Act complaint against Illinois Central Railroad (ICR) in Madison County Circuit Court May 25, alleging it failed to provide him a safe place to work.

According to Vannoy, he worked at ICR for five years and claims his job necessitated spending significant amounts of time in and around railroad cars, switches, tracks and yards.

Vannoy claims he was exposed to hazardous and carcinogenic substances including asbestos, chemical solvents, diesel fuel, train exhaust and silica.

Represented by Robert Ramsey of Brent Coon and Associates in St. Louis, Vannoy is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus costs and attorney fees.

"Exposure to these toxic substances caused Mr. Vannoy's asbestos related lung cancer, causing pain, suffering and mental anguish," the complaint states.

Vannoy claims he was unaware of the dangers and propensities of the toxic substances to which he was exposed and claims ICR knew, or should have known, that exposure to the toxic substances was dangerous and potential deadly.

He claims ICR failed to limit his exposure to hazardous substances, failed to warn him of the danger of his chronic exposure to hazardous substances, failed to provide appropriate safety garments and equipment that would minimize his exposure and failed to satisfy contemporary industrial and relevant governmental safety standards.

Vannoy also claims ICR failed to inspect its premises, failed to conduct adequate hygiene monitoring of workers, failed to implement medical monitoring and testing of employees and failed to design and implement administrative controls to prevent employees' over-exposure to toxic substances.

According to the complaint, Vannoy's illness caused him pain and suffering and mental anguish, lost wages, physical impairment, disfigurement and medical expenses.

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