Norfolk Southern worker sued by longtime trainman

Ann Knef Sep. 22, 2010, 5:32am

A Norfolk Southern Railway worker claims he experienced severe repetitive trauma injuries working as a trainman in St. Clair County for more than 35 years.

Robert M. Hodge filed a lawsuit Sept. 8 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Norfolk Southern, saying the switches he operated for the company were not adequately inspected or serviced in the many years he performed his duties.

The complaint alleges the company failed to oil, lubricate or graphite the switches, and that the plaintiff was required to work with defective and unsafe switches. The complaint adds that the company required Hodge to perform heavy and awkward physical labor that it knew or should have known were beyond his physical capacities and could lead to injuries.

The suit further says that the company violated its own standards by requiring the plaintiff to work with unsafe and oversized road ballast in its rail yards, resulting in unstable footing causing stress on his back and lower extremities.

In addition to his injuries, Hodge claims he experienced extreme pain, mental anguish and incurred medical costs, according to the complaint. He also lost wages.

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

Ryan Brennan of the Brennan Law Firm is representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 2010-L-441

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