Norfolk Southern worker says he was assigned duties beyond physical capability

Kelly Holleran Mar. 24, 2010, 11:43am

A former Norfolk Southern Railway Company worker claims he sustained permanent injuries to his neck, back and body after hitting his head on the roof of a truck.

Stephen S. Kawa filed a lawsuit March 17 in Madison County Circuit Court against Norfolk Southern Railway Company.

Kawa claims he began working for the railroad as a laborer in 1978 and ended his career in 2009. Throughout his employment, Kawa became subjected to numerous repetitive traumas, which caused some of his injuries, according to the complaint. Kawa sustained further injury on July 6, 2009, when he hit his head on the roof of a truck while working for the railroad, the suit states.

In addition to his injuries, Kawa suffered great pain and anguish, lost money, experienced a diminished earning capacity and incurred medical costs, the complaint says.

Kawa blames Norfolk Southern for causing his injuries, saying the railroad failed to provide him with safe and proper tools and equipment, failed to provide proper supervision, failed to warn him of foreseeable hazardous conditions, allowed unsafe practices to become standard, assigned him work that it knew would result in injury, assigned him duties beyond his physical capability, failed to provide a safe place to work and failed to provide safe work methods. In addition, the company negligently failed to provide safe seating in its truck, according to the complaint.

In his two-count suit, Kawa seeks a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs.

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

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-304.

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