Norfolk Southern settles FELA suit filed by signal maintainer

Steve Gonzalez Oct. 20, 2008, 6:17am

Norfolk Southern Railway settled a Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) complaint 62 days after the suit was filed.

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder signed off on the settlement Oct. 14, and dismissed the case with prejudice ordering both sides to pay their own costs.

Terms of the settlement were confidential and not disclosed.

Timothy Gasper filed the FELA suit Aug. 12, seeking damages in excess of $50,000 for injuries he sustained from repetitive trauma and from an automobile accident that happened in 2005.

Gasper claimed his vehicle was struck by a train while he was working on the railroad as a signal maintainer. He claims he suffered neck and shoulder injuries as a result of the incident.

He also claimed that through the course of his railroad career, from 2004 through 2008, he was subjected to numerous repetitive traumas while repairing signals and tracks for Norfolk.

Gasper alleged Norfolk failed to provide him a safe place to work, failed to provide suitable tools and equipment, failed to provide sufficient manpower and failed to provide safe methods of work.

Represented by Kurt Reitz of Thompson Coburn in Belleville, Norfolk originally argued Gasper failed to work in a reasonably safe manner to avoid the accident in question.

Norfolk argued Gasper failed to exercise reasonable care by backing his vehicle in close proximity to the train.

As far as Gasper's repetitive trauma injuries, Norfolk argued a pre-existing condition contributed to Gasper's medical problems.

As part of the settlement, Norfolk denied any wrongdoing in the case.

Gasper was represented by Gregory Tobin of East Alton.

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