Dennis Colwell filed a Federal Employers Liability Act suit against Union Pacific Railroad in Madison County Circuit Court May 17, claiming he injured his back while putting in a knuckle coupler without sufficient assistance in North Little Rock, Ark.

Colwell, a carman, claims that on May 27, 2004, Union Pacific failed to provide a safe place to work, failed to provide safe conditions, failed to provide safe equipment and failed to provide sufficient help.

According to the complaint, Colwell had low back surgery on May 15, has lost wages, spent money on medical care and has lost the ability to work, labor, and enjoy the normal pursuits in life.

He also claims that in early 2005, he began experiencing symptoms of pain, tingling and numbness in his hands, wrists, fingers, arms and forearms.

Colwell claims that during his tenure at Union Pacific, he was required to operate by hand, various vibrating tools and equipment for unreasonably extended periods of time on a daily basis without sufficient rest.

According to Colwell, he was diagnosed with bilateral carpal and cubital tunnel injuries on Aug. 30, 2006.

Colwell further alleges he reported knee injuries to his employer on Sept. 2, 2006, due to negligently being exposed to prolonged kneeling, crawling, squatting and climbing.

He claims he was required to kneel on dangerous and hazardous surfaces for extended time periods on a daily basis.

Represented by Daniel Francis of St. Louis, Colwell is seeking damages in excess of $150,000, plus costs of the suit.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

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