Conductor blames railroad operators for disabling knee injuries

Andrea Dearden Sep. 2, 2010, 2:15am

A former train conductor is accusing multiple railroad operators of violating the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA).

Bill A. Axe filed a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern Railway Co., Consolidated Rail Corp., American Premier Underwriters, Inc. and National Railroad Passenger Corp., also known as Amtrak, Aug. 23 in Madison County Circuit Court

Axe says he was employed by the defendants as a train conductor when he was diagnosed with severe knee injuries. He argues the injuries were caused by the negligence of his employers and made worse by climbing and riding on locomotive engines during the course of his career.

Axe accuses the railroad operators of negligence for failing to provide reasonably safe conditions and methods of work, failing to enact a comprehensive ergonomics program, failure to provide adequate training, safety equipment and for failing to provide protection from exposure to cumulative trauma. Axe also blames the defendants for failing to provide a safe way to get on and off locomotives and failing to properly inspect, maintain or repair its tracks.

Because of the defendants' alleged negligence, Axe argues he has suffered serious, painful and permanent injuries to his knees, related nerves and soft tissue. He says he has and will continue to suffer pain and mental anguish, affecting his ability to work and enjoy life.

Axe says he is owed compensation under FELA. He is asking for damages of $50,000 from each of the three defendants along with court costs.

Attorney Ryan M. Furniss of St. Louis is representing Axe.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 10-L879

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