Norfolk Southern engineer claims pulmonary condition in suit

Kelly Holleran Nov. 6, 2008, 4:30am

A former Norfolk Southern Railway Company employee has filed suit against the corporation, alleging he sustained injuries to his lungs and pulmonary system after his work as a locomotive engineer.

Don W. Smith was diagnosed with a chronic pulmonary condition after he was required to operate locomotive engines and work in conditions where he was exposed to a variety of fumes, smokes, dusts and particulate matter composed of diesel exhaust, sand and asbestos, the complaint filed Oct. 31 in Madison County Circuit Court states.

In addition to his injuries, Smith suffered pain and mental anguish, incurred medical costs and lost wages and benefits.

Smith claims his ability to work, labor and enjoy life was impaired because of his injuries.

Norfolk Southern Railway Company was negligent because it failed to provide Smith with a safe place to work, reasonably safe conditions, safe work methods, safe engines or work tools, adequate protection from exposure to toxic fumes and adequate training, according to the complaint.

In addition, the company negligently failed to provide adequate safety or personal protective equipment, failed to warn Smith of the danger of his exposure to diesel exhaust, failed to properly inspect, maintain or repair its engines, knew of the risks of diesel fumes, but failed to warn Smith, the suit states.

In the two-count suit, Smith is seeking unspecified damages, plus costs.

Eric Holland of Holland, Groves, Schneller and Stolze in St. Louis will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-1029.

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