Railroad worker sues Norfolk Southern over injuries

Kelly Holleran Mar. 18, 2009, 8:48am

A Norfolk Southern Railway Company and Consolidated Rail Corporation employee has filed suit against the companies, alleging he was injured while working for them.

Frederick J. Alberts claims he has been diagnosed with spine, shoulder and upper extremity injuries because of work he was required to perform, such as riding on and operating locomotive engines.

In addition to his injuries, Alberts suffered pain and mental anguish, lost wages and fringe benefits and incurred substantial medical costs, according to the complaint filed March 17 in Madison County Circuit Court.

His ability to work and enjoy the normal pursuits of life has also been impaired, the suit states.

Norfolk Southern and Consolidated were negligent by failing to provide Alberts with a safe work place, by failing to provide safe work conditions and methods, by failing to enact a comprehensive ergonomics program, by failing to provide safe engines or tools, by failing to provide adequate protection from trauma and by failing to provide adequate training, Alberts claims.

Both companies also negligently failed to provide adequate safety equipment, failed to warn Alberts from the danger of his exposure to cumulative trauma, failed to provide adequate help, failed to provide an air ride seat, failed to properly inspect its track, required Alberts to work with defective seats, failed to follow FRA and AAR recommendations and failed to properly inspect its engines, according to the complaint.

Norfolk Southern and Consolidated were also negligent by failing to warn Alberts of the risks of repetitive trauma even though it knew of the risks, by failing to follow the recommendations of its internal group studying the issue of cumulative trauma, by failing to provide safe seat or to repair its seats, by failing to protect Alberts from the risk of injury due to shock and vibration and by violating the Locomotive Inspection Act, the suit states.

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

He is represented by Ryan M. Furniss and Eric D. Holland of Holland, Groves, Schneller and Stolze in St. Louis.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0266.

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