Illinois Central Railroad sued over worker's injuries

Steve Gonzalez Oct. 29, 2008, 6:53am

A yardmaster for Illinois Central Railroad has filed a Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) suit, alleging his employer failed to provide him a safe place to work.

Travis Harrison claims while performing his work duties Oct. 24, 2006, he was injured.

Harrison claims he was driving in Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas, Inc.'s yard in Decatur when his truck fell into a hole, causing him to sustain severe and permanent injuries to his back, arms, shoulders, wrists, hands and knees.

According to Harrison, Illinois Central and Tate & Lyle's committed the following negligent acts:

  • Failed to provide him with a reasonably safe method with which to do his work;

  • Failed to inspect its yard for holes and depressions;

  • Failed to barricade holes in its roadway;

  • Failed to warn that a hole existed in the train yard;

  • Failed to light his work area and train yard;

  • Failed to place warning lights around the holes in its yards, roadways, and work surfaces; and

  • Allowed unsafe practices to become the common practice.

    Harrison also claims Illinois Central and Tate & Lyle's negligently violated Track Safety Standards 40 C.F.R. Section 213 by failing to inspect and maintain their tracks and roadbed.

    In addition, Harrison alleges the defendants failed to support their track with material which would maintain proper track cross level, surface, and alignment, failed to maintain each drainage or other water carrying facility under or immediately adjacent to the roadbed to accommodate expected water flow for the area consumed and failed to conduct inspections of their track and roadbed following floods, severe storms, and washouts.

    Harrison claims his various injuries caused and continue to cause pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement and disability, lost wages and became liable for medical expenses.

    He also claims he has sustained an aggravation of a pre-existing condition.

    Harrison is seeking a judgment in excess of $225,000.

    He is represented by John Kujawski of O'Fallon.

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