Railroad engineer claims rare hand deformity in new suit

By Steve Gonzalez | May 21, 2007

A railroad worker diagnosed with Dupuytren's contracture filed a Federal Employers Liability Act suit against Union Pacific Railroad in Madison County Circuit Court May 15, claiming the railroad failed to provide him a safe place to work.

Ronald Fose, an engineer, claims Union Pacific failed to provide safe conditions to work, failed to provide safe methods of work, failed to enact a comprehensive ergonomics program and failed to provide safe locomotives and equipment.

Dupuytren's contracture is a rare hand deformity in which the connective tissue under the skin of the palm thickens and scars. Knots and cords of tissue form under the skin, often pulling one or more of the fingers into a bent position.

Though the fingers affected by Dupuytren's contracture bend normally, they can't be straightened, making it difficult to use one's hand.

Fose claims he suffers serious, painful and permanent injuries, suffers pain and mental anguish, lost wages and fringe benefits, became liable for medical expenses and loss of a normal life.

Represented by Steven Groves and Gerard Schneller of St. Louis, Fose is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus costs of the suit.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

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