A Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company employee is suing the company over injuries he claims he sustained while working for the railroad.

James Castleberry Jr. filed suit March 30 in Madison County Circuit Court against BNSF Railway, alleging he received cumulative neck and spine trauma and damage throughout his career.

Castleberry began working for BNSF in 1973 and has been employed in various positions including engineer, which required him to operate railroad machinery in awkward positions, the complaint says.

In addition to his neck and spine injuries, Castleberry says his work has caused him to sustain pain and suffering, incur medical costs and undergo surgeries. He also suffered psychological, emotional injury, mental anguish and anxiety and lost wages, according to the complaint.

BNSF was at fault for the injuries because it failed to provide Castleberry with a safe work place, safe work conditions, safe equipment and safe methods, failed to take any action to reduce the cumulative trauma to his neck, back and spine, failed to periodically test employees for cumulative trauma and failed to warn Castleberry of the risks to which he was exposed, the suit states.

It also negligently required Castleberry to be exposed to dangerous levels of cumulative trauma, failed to inspect the occupational cumulative trauma in the job where Castleberry was required to work, failed to warn him of risks of occupational cumulative trauma, failed to determine the risks of cumulative trauma, failed to have equipment that was ergonomically designed to minimize exposure to cumulative trauma and failed to properly maintain its equipment, Castleberry says.

In addition, the complaint says BNSF failed to provide locomotive seats in a reasonably safe condition.

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

Roger C. Denton and J. Brad Wilmoth of Schlichter, Bogard and Denton in St. Louis will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-329.

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