Railroad worker suffered serious physical injuries and flashbacks, suit claims

Kelly Holleran Jul. 10, 2009, 3:44am

A Madison County lawsuit seeks more than $1 million in damages from a railroad company whose employee allegedly drove a vehicle into a maintenance man who was working in a truck on the tracks.

Joseph Patrick Cullivan filed a lawsuit July 2 against The Kansas City Southern Railway Company.

Cullivan claims he was working as a dual or joint maintenance-of-way employee for Kansas City Southern Railway Company and for Union Pacific Railroad on July 6, 2007, and was operating a grapple boom truck over the railroad track and road crossing.

Suddenly, without warning, Cullivan was struck by a vehicle that one of Kansas City Southern Railway Company's employees was operating, according to the complaint.

Because of the accident, Cullivan injured his back, neck, chest, bladder, kidneys, head, face, legs, arms and shoulders and has been suffering from flashbacks, the suit states. He also may have sustained permanent psychological and emotional damages, in addition to the lost wages and medical expenses he incurred, the damage to his ability to work, labor and enjoy life and his pain, suffering and mental distress, the complaint says.

Cullivan blames the incident on the hazardous nature of the crossing.

"It was lacking in adequate and safe gates, bell, lights and markings and was a non-federal and non-state crossing and therefore, is neither subject to federal law preemption nor state law preemption," the suit states.

In addition to the $1 million, Cullivan is seeking costs.

Cullivan filed a separate complaint against Union Pacific Railroad in Madison County.

Daniel R. Francis of The Francis Law Firm in St. Louis will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-690.

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Union Pacific
1400 Douglas St
Omaha, NE 68179

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