Alton & Southern wants FELA case dismissed

Steve Gonzalez Nov. 25, 2008, 8:00am

Alton & Southern Railway is asking a judge to dismiss a Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) complaint because the complaint is "substantially insufficient in law in order to state a cause of action."

Represented by Donald Dahlmann of Walker & Williams in Belleville, Alton & Southern argues a complaint filed by the estate of Jordan Johnson, Jr. does not indicate what part of Johnson's work was not reasonably safe and how such a condition caused or contributed to his injuries.

Johnson's estate filed suit Oct. 24, alleging he was killed while cutting ties for the railroad. He was working as a laborer/trackman when the incident happened near Granite City on June 16.

Johnson's estate alleges the railroad failed to provide him a reasonably safe place to work, failed to provide safe methods of work, failed to provide sufficient manpower and failed to provide safe tools and equipment.

Alton & Southern argues the suit should be dismissed because the complaint fails to state what specific work Johnson was performing and how, or in what way, the failure to provide different or safe methods of work would have prevented the injury.

The railroad also argues the complaint fails to state which tools were not safe or suitable for the use they were being applied and in what manner different tools would have prevented the injuries.

The railroad claims the complaint fails to state how additional manpower would have prevented the accident from occurring.

The railroad asks that the complaint be dismissed.

Gregory Tobin of East Alton represents Johnson's estate that is seeking damages in excess of $50,000.

No hearing has been set on the motion.

Madison County Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron is retiring on Nov. 30, and will let his replacement set a hearing date.

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