A former Norfolk Southern Railway Company employee claims on-the-job noise pollution caused permanent injuries to his ears.

On March 4, Sherman A. Yates sued Norfolk Southern in Madison County Circuit Court. He is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

Yates claims that throughout his railroad career, from 1974 until 2008, he was subject to noise pollution.

In addition to his ear injuries, Yates suffered injuries to his auditory system, suffered great pain and mental anguish and lost money and earning he would have been entitled to, the suit states.

He claims his earning capacity has been greatly diminished and he has incurred medical expenses.

Norfolk Southern was negligent by failing to provide safe tools, by failing to furnish Yates with necessary equipment to perform his job and with necessary personal protective equipment, by failing to provide Yates with proper supervision, by failing to warn Yates of hazardous conditions and by allowing unsafe practices to become standard, according to the complaint.

The company also negligently assigned Yates work it knew would result in his injury, assigned him duties that it knew were beyond his physical capacity, failed to provide a safe work place and failed to provide safe work methods, the suit states.

Gregory M. Tobin of Pratt and Tobin in East Alton will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0213.

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