Union Pacific worker claims carpal tunnel syndrome

By Kelly Holleran | Jun 23, 2009

A former Union Pacific Railroad Company worker has filed suit against the company, alleging he developed carpal tunnel because of his work for the railroad.

William F. Halvachs says he worked as a machinist for the railroad from August 1967 until March 2008.

While he worked for Union Pacific, Halvachs was exposed to repetitive and cumulative traumas to his arms, wrists and hands, causing him to develop bilateral advanced carpal tunnel, according to the complaint filed June 15 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

In addition to the carpal tunnel, Halvachs suffered great pain, disability, mental anguish and extreme nervousness and incurred medical costs, the complaint says. He also lost wages, the suit states.

Union Pacific negligently failed to provide Halvachs a safe place to work; failed to provide safe tools, required Halvachs to work with tools that put stress on his arms, wrists and hands; required Halvachs to work hours with machinery that was not ergonomically safe; and required Halvachs to work around tools that were not maintained, among other negligent acts, Halvachs claims.

It also violated the Locomotive Boiler Inspection Act and the Safety Appliance Act, according to the complaint.

In the three-count suit, Halvachs is seeking a judgment in excess of $150,000, plus costs.

William P. Gavin of Gavin Law Firm in Belleville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-313.

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