Terry Orem filed a Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) suit in St. Clair County Circuit Court seeking damages for injuries he allegedly sustained after colliding with a tractor trailer in Oklahoma.
In the suit filed Feb. 8, Orem, a Kansas resident, claims Union Pacific Railroad failed to provide him a safe place to work and failed to provide adequate safety measures regardin a collision that took place on Feb. 10, 2004. Orem collided with the truck being driven by Danny Harris of Perry County.
According to the complaint, Orem, a locomotive engineer, collided with Harris' 1997 Peterbilt Tractor on County Road 33 in Guymon, Okla.
Orem also claims Union Pacific failed to protect the grade crossing at the intersection of the collision, failed to take steps to furnish a crashworthy engine, required him to operate the train at a speed that endangered the occupants of the locomotive and failed to provide cushioning devices in their locomotive to avoid injuries in case of a collision.
"Union Pacific's locomotive was defective in that it was unsafe since it did not provide adequate protection to its occupants from unnecessary harm to life and limb in the event of a collision at a grade crossing," the complaint states.
Orem accuses Harris of failing to keep a proper lookout, failing to yield the right of way, failing to reduce speed, failing to stop at a railroad crossing and operating his tractor trailer in excess of the maximum hours permitted in one day under the Department of Transportation Regulations.
According to Orem, he sustained severe and permanent injuries to numerous parts of his neck, head and back, aggravated a pre-existing condition, suffered from pain and suffering, lost wages and became obligated to pay for medical expenses.
"Orem has been unable to perform the usual and normal household services and will in the future be unable to perform such household services," the complaint states.
Represented by Michael Nowak of O'Fallon, Orem is seeking damages in excess of $200,000 plus all costs of the suit.