Lack of ergonomics program partly to blame in injured railroad worker's suit

Steve Gonzalez Jun. 25, 2007, 4:00am

Arlie L. Carr, Jr. filed a Federal Employers' Liability Act complaint against Norfolk Southern Railway in Madison County Circuit Court May 24, seeking damages in excess of $50,000 for injuries he allegedly sustained.

Carr, a conductor, claims he has been diagnosed with injuries to his lower back and neck and claims they were caused during his career as he was required to ride on locomotives and cars, use handbrakes, change out air hoses, adjust drawbars and use other tools and had to walk on large ballast.

Carr claims Norfolk failed to provide him with a reasonably safe place to work, failed to provide reasonably safe conditions for work, failed to provide safe methods of work, and failed to enact a comprehensive ergonomics program.

He also claims Norfolk failed to provide safe equipment, cars, engines and tools, failed to provide protection from exposure to cumulative trauma, failed to provide adequate training and help and failed to warn him to protect himself from cumulative trauma.

Carr further alleges Norfolk required him to work on ballast that was too large, required him to adjust drawbars that were out of alignment without a strap or other assistance, failed to provide safe seats or to inspect or repair its seats in a safe condition and failed to follow the recommendations of its own internal group studying the issue of cumulative trauma.

According to Carr, he was caused to suffer serious painful and permanent injuries to the discs and nerves in his back, injuries to the nerves and soft tissue in his legs, neck, and arms.

He claims he has and will continue to suffer pain and mental anguish, incur medical expenses, lose wages and fringe benefits and that his ability to work, labor and enjoy the normal pursuits of life has been impaired and lessened.

Carr is represented by Steven Groves of St. Louis.

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