Union Pacific sued by long-time machine operator

By Kelly Holleran | Dec 17, 2008

A Union Pacific Railroad Company employee has filed suit against the company, alleging he has experienced long-term cumulative trauma from his work for the railroad.

Gregory Hawkins has worked for Union Pacific since 1974 as a machine operator in interstate commerce, according to the complaint filed Dec. 12 in Madison County Circuit Court.

While working as a machine operator in Madison County from 1979 until now, Hawkins was required to perform his duties for the amount of time required by Union Pacific and using Union Pacific's tools, the suit states.

Because of his work, Hawkins claims the long-term cumulative trauma led to injuries in his elbows.

His injuries have resulted in a disability that has caused him to suffer pain and mental anguish and Hawkins has lost earnings, according to the complaint.

Hawkins has incurred medical expenses and his future earning capacity has been diminished, the suit states.

Hawkins claims Union Pacific was negligent by failing to provide him with a safe place to work, by failing to provide him with safe tools and equipment, by failing to provide him with safe methods of work, by failing to provide him with proper supervision, by failing to warn of the risks of developing cumulative trauma injuries and by failing to follow the recommendations issued by the American Association of Railroads in regard to ergonomics.

Hawkins is seeking a judgment for damages that are fair and reasonable, plus costs.

Paul. T. Slocomb and Blunt Slocomb of St. Louis will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-1169.

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