Madison - St. Clair Record

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Railroad workers injured in recent derailment file separate suits

By Steve Gonzalez | Mar 31, 2008

Union Pacific Railroad workers injured when a train derailed last week en route from Marion to Joppa, Ill. filed separate Federal Employers' Liability Act suits in federal court.

Engineer William Patrick Kirby is seeking in excess of $5 million for injuries he sustained, according to a complaint filed one week after the accident on March 26.

Kirby, represented by Eric Holland of St. Louis, claims he sustained injuries to his head, neck, shoulders, arms, legs, back, spine and internal organs that are serious and permanent in nature.

In addition, he also claims Union Pacific failed to heed the warnings of its employees regarding track conditions.

Heavy rainfall has flooded parts of southern Illinois in the past two weeks.

Kirby also claims his injuries caused and will continue to cause pain and suffering, lost wages and fringe benefits and medical expenses.

His case has been assigned to District Judge G. Patrick Murphy.

In another suit filed March 24, Union Pacific conductor Ryan Allgier claims that after midnight on March 19, the locomotive carrying coal derailed in West Vienna in Johnson County causing him to sustain permanent injuries and disabilities.

Allgier claims that Union Pacific failed to inspect the track and roadbed to determine whether it was safe to travel, failed to perform a "special inspection" of track structures, failed to maintain drainage and other water carrying facilities, failed to support the track properly and failed to determine whether the tracks were safe to travel.

He also claims the railroad failed to use a scout vehicle ahead of the train to warn of a deteriorated or damaged track or roadbed, failed to design the track and roadbed to prevent its deterioration or damage by adverse weather, failed to delay or cancel his assignment until the condition of the track and roadbed was verified to be safe and failed to warn him of the dangerous conditions.

Allgier claims the derailment caused injuries to his head, arms, legs, neck, back and internal organs that cause pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages and fringe benefits.

Represented by John Papa of the Callis Law Firm, Allgier is seeking damages in excess of $75,000, plus costs.

His case has been assigned to District Judge J. Phil Gilbert in Benton.

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