Railroad worker claims toxic fumes caused illness

Kelly Holleran Dec. 18, 2008, 8:46am

A former Norfolk Southern Railway Company employee has filed suit against the company, alleging he was exposed to airborne pollutants and toxic fumes throughout his employment.

Malcolm H. Cooper was exposed while he worked for Norfolk Southern from 1978 until 2000, according to the complaint filed Dec. 16 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Because of his exposure, Cooper claims he sustained severe and permanent injuries to his lungs, respiratory system and his body.

His injuries have caused him pain and mental anguish, Cooper has lost money, his earning capacity has been greatly diminished and he has incurred medical expenses, the suit states.

He claims Norfolk Southern was negligent by failing to provide safe and suitable tools and equipment, by failing to furnish Cooper with necessary and proper equipment and supervision, by failing to warn Cooper of hazardous conditions, by allowing unsafe practices to become standard, and by assigning Cooper work Norfolk Southern knew would result in injury.

The company also negligently assigned Cooper duties it knew were beyond his physical capacity, failed to provide Cooper a safe place to work and failed to provide safe methods of work, according to the complaint.

Cooper is seeking a judgment in excess of $50,000, plus costs.

Gregory M. Tobin of Pratt and Tobin in East Alton will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-1184.

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