Norfolk Southern sued by worker claiming exposure to airborne pollutants

Kelly Holleran May 5, 2010, 4:21am

A man has filed suit against his former employer, alleging he sustained brain and lung damage after being exposed to airborne pollutants throughout his career.

Gary L. DePrimio claims he worked from 1976 until 2007 for defendant Norfolk Southern Railway Company in its bridge and building department. During his career, DePrimio was exposed to ballast dust, paint fumes, toxic dust, sand-blasted debris and other airborne pollutants, according to the complaint filed April 26 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Because of his exposure to the pollutants, DePrimio suffered severe and permanent injuries to his brain, lungs and body; experienced great pain and mental anguish; lost earnings; incurred a diminished earning capacity; and incurred medical costs, the suit states.

Norfolk Southern negligently failed to provide safe tools and equipment, failed to provide necessary and proper supervision, failed to warn DePrimio of hazardous conditions when working with its equipment, allowed unsafe practices to become standard, assigned DePrimio work it knew would result in his injury and were beyond his physical capabilities, failed to provide a safe place to work, failed to provide safe work methods and failed to provide sufficient manpower to complete the assigned task, the complaint says.

DePrimio is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

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

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-460.

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