A former Illinois Central Railroad Company employee has filed suit against the railroad, claiming he developed bilateral lower extremity tarsal tunnel syndrome because of his work as a conductor.

John Schwinn began working for the railroad in February 1973 and was required to regularly work on uneven and unstable surfaces and to operate locomotive with inadequate seating, suspension and shock absorption systems, according to the complaint filed Oct. 27 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Schwinn's work duties led to his condition, the suit states.

In addition to his syndrome, Schwinn claims he suffered a disability, great pain and mental anguish and has lost earnings.

He has also incurred substantial medical costs and his earning capacity has been diminished, according to the complaint.

He claims Illinois Central Railroad Company was negligent because if failed to provide him with a safe place to work, failed to provide him with proper tools and equipment, failed to provide adequate assistance and failed to provide adequate supervision and training.

In addition the railroad negligently failed to repair and maintain its machines and equipment in a safe condition, failed to provide Schwinn with proper seating or a proper suspension system in his locomotive, failed to inspect the locomotives for defects and failed to warn Schwinn about the development of cumulative trauma, the suit states.

In the three-count suit, Schwinn is seeking a judgment in excess of $150,000, plus costs of the suit.

Schwinn will be represented by Paul T. Slocomb and David L. Blunt of Blunt Slocomb in St. Louis.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-548.

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