Former BNSF worker claims worn-out seat caused injuries

Kelly Holleran Mar. 9, 2009, 2:12pm

A former Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company employee claims he suffered neck, back and spine injuries because of his work for the railroad.

James Bahm filed a four-count suit against the railroad corporation March 2 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Bahm, who was employed by the railroad beginning in May 1976, claims that while working as an engineer near Emporia, Kansas, on Nov. 24, he sustained his injuries due to a "defective, worn out seat" on which he sat while the locomotive ran over rough tracks.

In addition to Bahm's injuries, he sustained severe pain and suffering, incurred medical costs and experienced mental anguish and anxiety, according to the complaint.

He also lost wages and benefits and experienced an impaired ability to work, the suit states.

Bahm claims BNSF Railway was negligent by allowing the use of an engine that produced excessive vertical motion, by permitting the use of an engine that was not in proper condition and that had not been adequately inspected, by allowing the use of an engine that endangered the safety of the crew and by allowing an engine that was equipped with a seat with deficient cushioning.

The company also negligently failed to provide Bahm with a safe place to work, failed to maintain its track in a safe condition, failed to maintain its equipment in a safe condition, failed to provide safe conditions, safe equipment and safe methods for work, failed to take action to reduce the amount of cumulative trauma to which Bahm was exposed, failed to test employees for physical effects of cumulative trauma and failed to properly inspect its equipment and track, according to the complaint.

Bahm is seeking a judgment in excess of $200,000, plus costs.

Roger C. Denton and J. Brad Wilmoth of Schlichter, Bogard and Denton in St. Louis will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-1198.

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Organizations in this Story

BNSF Railway
2650 Lou Menk Dr
Fort Worth, TX 76131-2830

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