$1 million sought by railroader who tripped on phone wire

By Steve Gonzalez | Oct 24, 2007

Phillip Charles Roberts filed a Federal Employers' Liability Act complaint against Union Pacific Railroad in Madison County Circuit Court Oct. 18, alleging Union Pacific negligently failed to provide him a safe place to work.

According to Roberts, he was injured on July 17, when he tripped over a discarded or abandoned and hidden phone wire in the pathway of his work area.

Roberts was employed as a machine operator for Union Pacific in Wood River at mile post 262.7.

He claims the wire was left in an unsafe location as it originated from Union Pacific's telephone poles and they left it abandoned.

Roberts claims the railroad failed to provide him with safe conditions, safe equipment, sufficient help and a reasonably safe pathway.

Roberts further claims Union Pacific failed to comply with 49 UFR 213 & 215 by failing to clear vegetation as required.

He claims he sustained injuries to his back and legs which caused permanent physiological and emotional damages, pain and suffering and medical expenses.

"Plaintiff has lost the wages of his employment and will in the future lose such wages; wage loss and benefits will be tremendous and could be in excess of $750,000.00," the complaint states.

Represented by Daniel Francis of St. Louis, Roberts is seeking a "sum fair and reasonable under the circumstances in excess of One Million Dollars" plus costs of the suit.

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