A railroad worker claims the nature of his job caused him to suffer spinal injuries.

Jared Smothers filed a lawsuit Feb. 14 in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against Union Pacific Railroad Company.

In his complaint, Smothers alleges he has been working in Union Pacific’s building and bridge department since January 2004. As part of his job duties, Smothers was required to lift heavy equipment using various tools, according to the complaint. He was also forced to engage in extreme manual labor and maintenance, which have caused him to sustain back injuries, the suit states.

In addition to his injuries, Smother lost wages, suffered great physical pain and mental anguish and lost his quality of life because of his work, the complaint says. Smothers also claims he incurred medical costs and was unable to perform his normal affairs.

Smothers blames Union Pacific for causing his injuries, saying it negligently failed to provide him with a safe place to work, failed to provide him with safe work condition, failed to provide safe methods of work, failed to follow a comprehensive ergonomics program and failed to provide safe equipment for work, among other negligent acts.

Smothers is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

He is being represented by G. Michael Stewart of Simmons, Browder, Gianaris, Angelides and Barnerd in Alton.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 14-L-153.

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