A trial is set for Aug. 17 in the case of a Wood River railroad worker who claims he was injured after tripping on an abandoned wire.
Plaintiff Phillip Roberts is seeking damages in excess of $1 million under the Federal Employee Liability Act. He argues that his employer, Union Pacific Railroad Co., did not provide him a safe work environment.
Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth is presiding.
Roberts claims that he was hurt after tripping and falling while inspecting a stretch of track in Wood River July 17, 2007. He claims to have tripped over a broken or abandoned telephone wire belonging to Union Pacific.
The suit claims the railroad failed to provide Roberts with a safe work environment, safe equipment, a reasonable pathway and sufficient help. He also claims the company failed to clear vegetation from the area as required by law.
Roberts claims he injured his back and legs and that he has suffered permanent emotional and physiological distress, including depression. Roberts claims to have lost wages and that he will continue to lose wages in the future.
The suit seeks damages in excess of $ 1 million and costs.
In its answer, Union Pacific contends that Roberts contributed to his accident, that he has failed to mitigate his damages and that his injuries were the result of a pre-existing condition.
The case had originally been assigned to then-Madison County Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.
Roberts is represented by Daniel Francis of St. Louis. Union Pacific is represented by Thomas Jones of Belleville.
The trial is set to begin at 9 a.m. Monday.
The case is Madison case number 07-L-906.