Railroad helper sues Union Pacific over torn remote vest

By Kelly Holleran | Jan 2, 2009

John Schulte has filed suit against Alton and Southern Railway Company and Union Pacific Railroad Company, alleging he was injured while working for the companies.

Schulte was working as a helper in a rail yard in East St. Louis on July 6 and was operating a locomotive with a remote when the remote vest ripped, according to the complaint filed Dec. 29 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

That caused Schulte to lose his balance and fall off the railcar, the suit states.

Because of his fall, Schulte's back and neck were injured, he incurred medical expenses, he suffered extreme pain and mental anguish and he lost wages, he claims.

Alton and Southern Railway Company and Union Pacific Railroad Company were negligent by failing to provide Schulte a safe place to work, by failing to provide him with reasonably safe work methods and by providing its employees with remote control vests it knew were subject to tearing, according to the complaint.

Both companies also negligently failed to warn people of the dangers of using the vests and failed to provide substitute vests or a safer working method, the suit states.

In the two-count suit, Schulte is seeking a judgment in excess of $100,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Charles W. Armbruster III and Michael T. Blotevogel of The Lakin Law Firm in Wood River will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-665.

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