Illinois Central engineer claims back trauma

Ann Knef Jan. 3, 2008, 4:35am

Railroad engineer and fireman Roy Clark of Elkville, Ill. filed suit against Illinois Central Railroad claiming occupational back injuries as a result of repetitive and cumulative trauma to his back.

Clark, who has been employed by Illinois Central since 1973, claims he will almost certainly require surgery, according to a Federal Employers' Liability Act suit filed Dec. 27 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

He claims his injuries were caused by the negligence, carelessness and recklessness of Illinois Central through its failure to provide him a safe place to work.

Among many other things, Clark also claims the railroad failed to provide an adequate ergonomics program, negligently allowed him to work on substandard locomotive seats, allowed excessive "slack action" to exist in trains and allowed its tracks to fall into such an utter state of disrepair that engineers such as himself were forced to ride over rough and uneven tracks.

Represented by Paul W. Johnson of Kujawski & Associates of O'Fallon, Clark is seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages.

"As a direct and proximate result of IC's negligence...the Plaintiff has been unable to attend to his usual duties and occupations, all of which has caused substantial financial loss, wage loss, loss of future earning capacity, all of which may and probably will continue into the future," the complaint states.

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