A Union Pacific Railroad company employee has filed suit against the railroad, alleging he received neck and back injuries while working for the company.

Joseph L. Johnson was working as a foreman, trackman and operator for Union Pacific on Oct. 17, 2006, when the tie inserter derailed, struck the rail in a "hard, violent" manner and caused Johnson to receive his injuries, according to the complaint filed March 2 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

In addition, Johnson was subjected to numerous repetitive traumas throughout his career of repairing railroad tracks, the suit states.

As a result, he claims he suffered neck, back and spine injuries that caused him great pain and mental anguish and to lose money.

His earning capacity has also been greatly diminished and he incurred medical expenses, according to the complaint.

Union Pacific was negligent by failing to provide a safe place to work, by failing to provide safe work methods, by failing to provide sufficient manpower, by failing to provide safe tools and equipment and by failing to make necessary repairs on equipment with which Johnson was working, the suit states.

In the two-count suit, Johnson is seeking a judgment in excess of $100,000, plus costs.

He is represented by Robert W. .Schmieder of Pratt and Tobin in East Alton.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0112.

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