A former Alton and Southern Railway worker has filed suit against the company, alleging his back was seriously injured because of work he performed for the company.

Clifford Patterson says he worked for Alton and Southern from October 1955 through May 1995 as a conductor and switchman.

Beginning in June 2007, Patterson began experiencing problems with his back for which he sought medical treatment, according to the complaint filed May 22 in Madison County Circuit Court.

In October 2007, Patterson's physician told him his back problems were caused by his work for the railroad, the suit states.

"Prior to this time, Plaintiff did not know and had no reason to know that his back complaints were the result of his work for the Defendant," the suit states.

Because of his back injuries, Patterson says he has suffered great pain and mental anguish and will incur medical costs.

Alton and Southern was negligent by failing to provide a safe place to work, by failing to provide safe work methods, by failing to provide sufficient manpower and by failing to provide safe tools and equipment, according to the complaint.

Patterson is seeking a sum in excess of $50,000, plus costs.

He is represented by Dave Jones of Edwardsville and by Donald M. Flack of the Flack Law Office in Wood River.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-526.

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