Railroad employee sues after he strikes train's rear

By Kelly Holleran | Dec 15, 2008

A BNSF Railway Company employee has filed suit against the company, alleging he was severely injured after the brakes on the train he was driving failed to work, causing him to crash into the rear of another train in front of him.

Raymond G. Martinez was working as a road railer group 2 operator and was operating a high rail truck when he struck the rear of BNSF's train one mile west of Melrose, Iowa, on June 12, according to the complaint filed Dec. 11 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Because of the accident, Martinez suffered severe and crippling injuries to his right leg, ankle and foot and has endured severe pain and mental anguish, the suit states.

Martinez claims he also incurred medical costs and lost wages.

BNSF was negligent by failing to furnish Martinez with a safe place to perform his duties, failing to provide safe methods of work because Martinez had no warning that a train he'd been following had come to a stop and by failing to provide Martinez with safe and adequate machinery, according to the complaint.

It also violated the Safety Appliance Act by failing to equip the high rail truck and rail car with efficient brakes, the suit states.

In the two-count suit, Martinez is seeking a judgment in excess of the jurisdictional minimum of Madison County Circuit Court.

Larry A. Calvo of Ludens, Potter, Burch, Melton and Calvo in Morrison will be representing Martinez.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-1163.

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