Railroad worker sues over loud noise exposure

Kelly Holleran Dec. 29, 2009, 3:58am

A Norfolk Southern Railway Company locomotive engineer claims he suffered hearing loss because of the loud noises to which he became exposed throughout his career.

Ronald Drudge filed a lawsuit Dec. 17 in Madison County Circuit Court against Norfolk Southern Railway Company.

Drudge, who has worked for the company since 1970, claims he suffered injuries to his ears, inner ears, the nerve endings in his head, the tympanic membrane, his eardrums and the tissues of his inner ears because the railroad caused him to repeatedly be exposed to a loud whistle and other deafening noises.

In addition to his ear injuries, Drudge experienced hearing loss and tinnitus; suffered psychological and emotional harm; incurred medical costs; and lost wages, according to the complaint.

Drudge blames Norfolk Southern for a number of negligent acts, including its failure to provide employees with a safe work place, its failure to provide safe equipment, its failure to provide adequate hearing protection and its failure to provide sound reduction in its engines.

Drudge seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

William E. Kruse and Steven L. Groves of Holland, Groves, Schneller and Stolze in St. Louis will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-1363.

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